Bear girls split with Wolfpack

JDHS rebounds from 2-point loss with 20-point romp

Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2010

After the Crimson Bears girls' basketball team registered their second loss of the season Friday during homecoming, they responded the same way they did after their first loss of the season - with a resounding victory.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

JDHS fell behind 14-11 after one quarter as West Valley came out firing on all cylinders, but the Bears responded with high-pressure, full-court defense in the second quarter as they outscored the Wolfpack 19-6 in the frame.

"I didn't think the hoopla of homecoming was an issue for these guys, but it obviously was last night. Normally, the first night of homecoming the kids don't play well," said head coach Lesslie Knight. "The biggest difference in this game was the offensive rebounding."

The Crimson Bears dominated the battle of the boards totaling 40 rebounds on the evening with 19 coming on the offensive glass. West Valley had 19 boards total. Still, Knight said she wants to see her players on the free throw line more.

"One of the things we still haven't done well is go to the basket and get to the 1-and-1," she said. "That is extremely frustrating, but at the same time, scoring 64 points without getting to the line is huge."

Juneau-Douglas made five out of 12 free throws Saturday night, which was an improvement from the four free throws the team shot all night on Friday.

The Bears were never challenged from that point on as their relentless defensive pressure and team depth took West Valley out of the game by the halfway point of the third quarter.

"Our defensive intensity is our strong point - we picked it up and communicated a lot better (Saturday)," said Brittany Fenumiai. "Another one of our really strong points is how deep our bench is. We don't have five great players, we have 13 great players who can play at any point in the game, and we're all strong and we connect well.

"Us being a pressure, pressure, pressure, tough defense sort of team up in your face tires people out, honestly."

The Wolfpack were visibly fatigued on the second night of a back-to-back and were unable to match up with the depth of the Bears as they were blown out 53-30 in the final three quarters combined.

Fenumiai led all scorers with 12 points while Sarah Tarver and Taylor Larson contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.

•Matthew Tynan can be reached by phone at 523-2267 or by e-mail at

Wolfpack stuns Bears, 53-51

One night after falling to 3A Sitka, West Valley went to Juneau-Douglas and crashed the Crimson Bears' homecoming party, stunning the vaunted 4A state title contenders 53-51.

The game saw six ties and 12 lead changes through four back-and-forth quarters of action. JDHS led by three after the first quarter, two at the half and one heading into the fourth, but the Wolfpack was able to make the big plays down the stretch, shooting 52 percent from the field in the second half after shooting just 33 percent in the first.

"I felt like West Valley came ready to play and outhustled us," coach Lesslie Knight said. "There were times where, with the loose balls, they ended up with them."

Two free throws by Erica Veazey put the Wolfpack up 49-46 with 1:12 to play, but JDHS junior guard Karli Brakes drove and kicked out to Brittany Fenumiai on the wing, where the senior forward buried a 3-pointer to tie the game with 1:02 to play.

But on the ensuing play, Veazey broke free down the right side of the court. As she went up for a lay-up, Brakes was called for a reach-in foul. A frustrated Brakes slammed the ball down in protest and was called for a technical foul, giving the Wolfpack four free throws and possession with just less than a minute to play.

But West Valley was only able to convert two free throws, and then turned the ball over on its ensuing possession, giving the Bears new life. Up 51-49, Julia Mackey stepped in front of a Fenumiai pass and set up Hannah Mattson for a big-time jumper to push the lead to four.

Fenumiai answered with a jumper, but her three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer wasn't close, and the Wolfpack came away with a stunning 53-51 win over JDHS.

For the second time this year, the Bears lost by three points or less while letting their opponents live at the free throw line.

Ketchikan knocked off JDHS 46-43 on Jan. 15 after shooting 22 of 30 from the line to the Bears' 7 of 9. Friday night, West Valley made just 10 of 19 from the stripe, but JDHS made just two free throws and shot just four for the entire game in losing by two points.

The Bears also committed 17 turnovers, giving away 11 points to the Wolfpack, which committed just 10 turnovers, giving away three points.

Three West Valley players scored in double figures, with Veazey scoring 16, Mackey 10 and Jasmine Yarde 10. Megan Hinzman added nine points.

Fenumiai led the Bears with 13 points, while Taylor Larson and Brakes each scored seven.

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