The Ketchikan girls’ basketball team got off to a dream start against No. 1 Juneau-Douglas on senior night at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium on Saturday.
The Kings just couldn’t maintain it.
Senior Erin Doherty scored 16 points in her final home game — giving Ketchikan leads of 3-1 and 5-3 during an uncharacteristically tight first quarter — but the Crimson Bears proved too tough in a 66-27 win, the same score of Friday’s game.
“The girls, I thought, handled things much better,” Ketchikan coach Kelly Smith said. “Juneau didn’t get out and jump us right away. They’re working on stuff and getting ready to make their state-title run.”
Ketchikan trailed just 11-8 after eight minutes, but Juneau-Douglas opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run highlighted by a steal and 3-point play by senior Karli Brakes. The Crimson Bears went on to outscore the Kings 23-10 in the quarter, grabbing a 34-18 lead at the break.
Any hopes of a Ketchikan comeback quickly disappeared at the start of the second half, as the experimental zone defense JDHS struggled to execute in the first quarter started clicking. With the Kings stifled on offense, Brakes and classmates Taylor Larson and Sarah Tarver scored on consecutive possessions to spark a 16-0 run to open the third quarter for the defending 4A state champions.
“We talked at halftime and said, ‘You can’t just quit because you didn’t do something right,’” JDHS coach Lesslie Knight said. “We came back out in the same zone front and it worked much better.”
Juneau triggered the 40-point running clock rule for the second straight night, going ahead 64-23 with 5:24 left in the fourth quarter. The Crimson Bears swept Ketchikan in four Southeast Conference games this season.
Larson finished with a game-high 20 points, doing much of her damage with 10 in the second quarter. Senior Nani Ostrom added nine points.
“One of the things we want to do is get it inside,” Knight said. “Taylor is tough. One of the things we need to do is be patient in getting it inside to her.”
Juneau cruises Friday
Sarah Tarver scored a game-high 15 points — 10 in the first quarter —and Juneau-Douglas cruised past Ketchikan 66-27 at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium on Friday.
The Crimson Bears opened the game with a 13-0 run, keeping the Kings from crossing halfcourt on their first five possessions.
JDHS swept Ketchikan at home in January — winning 56-19 and 59-19 — leading the Kings to say this week that they just wanted to make the Crimson Bears “uncomfortable.”
Ketchikan nearly forced a turnover on Juneau-Douglas’ first possession, but the defending 4A state champions grabbed the loose ball and fed senior Taylor Larson for an easy hook shot and a 2-0 lead.
Tarver had a putback to make it 4-0, then got free for two transition layups off Ketchikan turnovers to push the Bears’ lead to eight. Senior Karli Brakes hit a 3-pointer and Tarver turned yet another turnover — Ketchikan had nine in the first quarter — into a layup to put the Crimson Bears ahead 13-0, and it was all JDHS thereafter.
The Crimson Bears only spent 2:03 in the locker room during halftime and kept rolling after the break. Mixing in reserves in the second half, JDHS scored 14 points in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth while triggering the 40-point running clock rule with about three minutes left to play.
Larson had a big game for the Crimson Bears, scoring 14 points.
• John Borneman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Ketchikan sports online at www.twitter.com/KetchikanSports