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The Juneau girls basketball team used intense defense to get the job done in a homecoming weekend sweep of Colony.
The Crimson Bears used some spectacular offensive plays to drive the crowd wild.
"Offense sells tickets and defense wins games," Juneau senior Mary Rehfeld said after the Juneau beat Colony 69-40 on Saturday at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gym. The Crimson Bears beat the Knights 57-43 in Friday's series opener.
Juneau (11-4 overall) stole the ball 37 times and forced 49 Colony turnovers in the series, leading to layup after layup for the Crimson Bears in both games.
But what most people will remember is Juneau sophomore Talisa Rhea's one-handed sling from beyond halfcourt that banked in at the halftime buzzer on Saturday.
With one second left in the half, Juneau sophomore Andrea Doerflinger inbounded the ball from the sideline to Rhea, who launched the shot with her right hand. When the shot banked in, the gym exploded with cheers.
"It's probably one in a million. I don't know if I could do it again."
Rhea said she and junior Lexi Garvey like to try halfcourt shots in practice - to the amusement of some of their teammates.
"I always give them grief, and tell them (to focus on) 'game shots,'" Rehfeld said. "It kind of came back and kicked me in the rear."
Rhea's shot gave Juneau a 38-20 halftime lead on Saturday and capped a 20-5 second-quarter run. After a strong first quarter, Colony was unable to threaten the rest of the way as Juneau continued to pressure the ball. In the fourth quarter, Juneau scored back-to-back-to-back baskets off steals by Garvey, junior Sophia Smith and Rhea.
"I don't really know what happened," Rhea said. "I just threw it up, hoping it would go in. ...
"We got a lot of fast breaks, just like Coach wanted," Smith said. "We put a lot of pressure on the ball and on the wings, so it made it hard for them to get passes inside."
Rhea scored 19 points to lead all scorers on Saturday, while contributing eight assists and four steals. Rehfeld added 14 points and seven rebounds, senior Kate Potter had 10 points, Garvey had seven points and four steals, and freshman Nicole Fenumiai and junior Kerstin Kimlinger had six rebounds apiece.
Kristin Robinson and Joanna Spoth scored nine points apiece to lead Colony (7-11 overall). Robinson scored all her points on a trio of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
"I thought we were ready to play (on Friday), and I was really pleased," Colony coach Don Witzel said. "Today, mentally, we were not anywhere near the basketball court."
On Friday, Juneau trailed 12-10 after the first quarter, and the game was tied at 18-all midway through the second quarter as the Crimson Bears had trouble getting shots to fall. Then Garvey made a long assist pass to Rehfeld for a layup, and Smith followed with a 3-pointer to put Juneau up 23-18 with 1:37 left in the half. The Crimson Bears never trailed again.
A long 3-point shot by Rhea and a three-point play by Smith in the fourth quarter, along with a series of steals, helped seal the win for Juneau.
"We were kind of sluggish (early)," Juneau coach Lesslie Knight said after Friday's game. "We kept trying to promote defensive intensity, hoping that would pump up the offense. Finally, by the fourth quarter, you saw the defensive intensity we're capable of."
Rhea scored a game-high 22 points and had nine steals and six assists for Juneau, while Rehfeld scored nine points and had six rebounds. Potter scored eight points and Smith had seven.
Joynt scored 13 points and Megan Pfile scored 12 for Colony. Kate Baldwin added eight points and 10 rebounds for the Knights.
As part of the weekend's homecoming festivities, the Juneau girls hosted several special guests. On Friday, the team honored 1996 JDHS graduate Shanie Wery, a member of the 1995-96 state champion Crimson Bears basketball squad who recently returned from a year-long deployment to Iraq with the United States Army.
On Saturday, all JDHS girls basketball alumni were honored after the game. Katherine Shaw, who played basketball for Juneau High School in the 1920s and graduated in 1928, sat on the Juneau girls' bench during the second half of the game and was recognized as the "matriarch" of girls basketball in Juneau.
Two current JDHS basketball players picked up an extra honor on Friday night. At a ceremony after the boys game, Rehfeld was named homecoming queen and Tom Derbesy, a senior on the Juneau boys basketball team, was named homecoming king.
The Juneau girls hit the road this week for a series of games against Fairbanks-area schools. The Crimson Bears will play Lathrop on Thursday, West Valley on Friday and North Pole on Saturday.
Andrew Krueger can be reached at email@example.com.
CRIMSON BEARS 69, KNIGHTS 40
Saturday's girls game from JDHS
COLONY (40) - Kristin Robinson 3 0-0 9, Kelcy Joynt 1 5-6 8, Haley Hotchkiss 0 0-0 0, Joanna Spoth 2 5-9 9, Megan Pfile 1 2-2 4, Hanna Curtis 0 0-0 0, Jamie Christensen 0 0-0 0, Adrienne Class 1 0-1 2, Kate Baldwin 2 0-5 4, Ali-K Babcock 0 0-0 0, Sarah Walsh 1 2-2 4. Totals: 11 14-24 40.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (69) - Talisa Rhea 7 4-4 19, Lexi Garvey 2 3-4 7, Jordan Harvey 2 0-1 4, Kerstin Kimlinger 2 1-2 5, Sophia Smith 1 0-1 2, Mary Rehfeld 6 1-2 14, Kate Potter 5 0-0 10, Veronica Lietz 1 0-0 2, Maddie Swofford 0 0-0 0, Nicole Fenumiai 2 0-0 4, Andrea Doerflinger 0 2-2 2. Totals: 28 11-16 69.
COLONY 15 5 11 9 - 40
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 18 20 17 14 - 69
3-point goals - Colony 4 (Robinson 3, Joynt 1), Juneau-Douglas 2 (Rhea 1, Rehfeld 1). Fouled out - Colony 1 (Joynt), Juneau-Douglas 0. Technical fouls - Colony 0, Juneau-Douglas 1 (coach). Total fouls - Colony 12, Juneau-Douglas 14.
CRIMSON BEARS 57, KNIGHTS 43
Friday's girls game from JDHS
COLONY (43) - Kristin Robinson 0 2-2 2, Kelcy Joynt 4 5-6 14, Joanna Spoth 1 0-0 2, Megan Pfile 3 6-7 12, Adrienne Class 0 0-0 0, Kate Baldwin 3 2-2 8, Ali-K Babcock 0 1-2 1, Sarah Walsh 1 2-2 4. Totals: 12 18-21 43.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (57) - Talisa Rhea 9 2-3 22, Lexi Garvey 2 0-0 4, Jordan Harvey 2 0-0 4, Kerstin Kimlinger 0 1-2 1, Sophia Smith 2 2-3 7, Mary Rehfeld 3 3-4 9, Kate Potter 3 2-2 8, Veronica Lietz 0 0-0 0, Maddie Swofford 0 0-0 0, Nicole Fenumiai 0 0-0 0, Andrea Doerflinger 1 0-0 2. Totals: 28 11-16 69.
COLONY 12 7 10 14 - 43
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 10 14 14 19 - 57
3-point goals - Colony 1 (Joynt 1), Juneau-Douglas 3 (Rhea 2, Smith 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Colony 11, Juneau-Douglas 19.