When the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team hosted Ketchikan last month, the Crimson Bears played sparking defense and posted a pair of commanding wins.
Juneau is hoping to rekindle a little of that magic this weekend as it travels to Ketchikan for a pair of Southeast Conference-Class 4A games against the Kings.
Juneau (12-6 overall, 4-0 SE) can clinch the top seed and a first-round bye at next month's region tournament with a pair of wins over Kayhi (15-4 overall, 1-3 SE) on Friday and Saturday. But the Crimson Bears' 1-2 record on their trip to Fairbanks last weekend left a lot of room for improvement.
"We have some things to work on after Fairbanks, so hopefully we can get it together for the weekend," said Juneau coach Lesslie Knight, who said increasing defensive intensity has been the team's focus all week.
When the Kings traveled to Juneau in January, they wilted under the pressure of the Crimson Bear defense. Juneau won those games 52-31 and 69-28, and has not lost to Ketchikan in more than three years.
But the Crimson Bears are not taking too much comfort in their past success against Kayhi, which boasts a roster of varsity veterans.
"A lot can happen in a month, especially with a lot of seniors," Knight said. "We are expecting tough games, especially on their home court."
The Juneau Empire sports department can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.