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The mission for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team couldn't be simpler - win two to play one.
The Crimson Bears (10-10, 6-2 Southeast) must defeat Sitka today and Saturday to set up a one-game, winner-takes-all showdown for the Class 4A Southeast Conference championship on March 7 in Juneau.
A loss to the Wolves (7-13, 0-6) either today or tomorrow will force a rematch between the two teams on Thursday for the right to play Ketchikan the following day in the Class 4A region final.
The regional champion advances to the state tournament on March 20-22 in Anchorage.
Juneau-Douglas beat Sitka twice on the road on Feb. 8-9. The Bears won the first game 65-37 and the second game 87-63.
After two tough games with Ketchikan, the Bears can't afford to drop their defenses against Sitka.
Third-year coach Andy Lee, a former Juneau resident and youth basketball coach, has facilitated and helped his team grow significantly during his tenure. Sitka owns three wins over Class 4A competition this year. The Wolves defeated Houston, Homer and Skyview.
Sitka playmakers Logan Lee and Ryan Peters can score while point guard Jeremy Espaleta directs the offense.
For the Crimson Bears, senior Dominique Brinson is emerging into a dual threat.
He's averaging 16.4 points per game in Juneau's last five gams. He's also averaged 3.4 steals during that stretch.
This weekend also will be the final regular season games for Juneau seniors Faifo Levale, Brian Lauth, Ryan "Bubba" Larson, Shawn Ibesate and Brinson.
The six seniors will be honored before Saturday's game.
Juneau Empire sports editor Tim Nichols will be live with his blog during this weekend's series. Log on to juneaublogger.com/sports for running stats and commentary.