With two games against conference rival Ketchikan looming for the Juneau-Douglas boys' basketball team, the Bears will have to focus their energy for one game tonight against Sitka before their clash with the Kings on Friday.
While the game will not count in the conference standings, coach Steve Potter said he wants his team to play well heading into the weekend.
"Sitka always plays tough against us - they have a nice sagging zone that messes with your head a little bit - plus they were in our league (for) forever," he said. "There's a history, but really, it's a couple of years out now so not a lot of these guys remember being part of it."
Even with the games coming up against the Kings, Potter expects his team to be focused and ready to play the Wolves on Thursday at 7 p.m. at JDHS.
"We've got a nice little win streak going and we'd like to keep it going," he said. "The most important thing is that we understand our schemes and the guys understand where they are supposed to be on our rotations.
"It's an opportunity against a quality opponent to do that."
Potter said the chance to play three games in three days will give the Bears a feel for the regional tournament coming up in March.
"Realistically, that's what you have to do (win three games in three days) to win at regionals," he said.
He also expects his team to be a little fatigued heading into the rivalry Friday night against Ketchikan after a game the night before, but said his players will be prepared.
"They should feel tired. I mean, the idea is that we're supposed to be playing pretty hard," he said. "But we play a lot of guys, so this is a situation where that should help us."
The Bears have not played since their matchup with Thunder Mountain on Feb. 6, but Potter said the time off has been valuable.
"We took a day to get our legs back. Homecoming was a lot of emotion and the Thunder Mountain games had a lot of emotion, so I think we needed some down time," he said. "We had some good practices last week and squared away some of our sets. Then everybody got sick, so we had six guys sick yesterday. Some of them seem to be better though.
"They're going to play - they might get a little quicker hook, even though I'm sure they all think they're fine - but we'll see."
After Sitka on Thursday, all attention will be turned toward the important games against the conference leading Kings (15-5, 5-1).
"This weekend will decide," he said. "If we win both this weekend, we'll be in good shape. But that's not going to be an easy task. Ketchikan's won a bunch of games in a row and it sounds like they're playing pretty well."
Matthew Tynan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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