The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team will open a new chapter in a long rivalry this weekend, as the Crimson Bears travel to Ketchikan for a two-game Region V-Class 4A series.
It is the season's first meeting between the Crimson Bears and Kings, who have faced off in the last five region title games.
Juneau (11-5 overall, 2-0 region) is coming off a 3-0 road trip to Anchorage and Palmer last week, and the Crimson Bears dominated Sitka at home in their region opener two weeks ago.
Ketchikan (12-4 overall, 2-2 region) beat Class 3A Metlakatla 53-33 on Thursday night, and have split their season series with Sitka.
There are a couple of notable absences on this year's Kings squad.
On the bench, coach Doug Nausid left in the offseason to take the reins of the Ketchikan boys squad. Bob Hammer, Nausid's assistant for the past three years, is now guiding the Kings.
On the court, Kayhi is playing without Anne Elliott, who graduated last year after a distinguished multi-sport career. Elliott accounted for more than 40 percent of the Kings' offense in five games against Juneau last season.
In her place, Ketchikan has turned to junior guard Destiny Bell, who transferred to Ketchikan this season after starring with Class 2A Hydaburg last season. Bell led the Kings with 15 points in both games of last weekend's series split against Sitka.
Returning junior guards Tori Edwardson and Raquelle Pahang also have made significant contributions on offense this season for Ketchikan.
Juneau coach Lesslie Knight said the Crimson Bears have kept tabs on Ketchikan, noting the Kings shot better than 80 percent on free throws in a game last weekend while the Crimson Bears have been struggling from the line lately. But she said Juneau will be more concerned with its own game this weekend.
"We're not going to be worried so much about what they're doing," she said. "It's about executing what we do well."
After this weekend's games, Juneau plays a series at Sitka on Feb. 27-28, and closes out the regular season at home against Ketchikan on March 5-6.
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