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JDHS girls steal a conference title

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2008

To win the physical game against Ketchikan, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball game needed to win the mental game first.

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Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire
Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire

With 32 minutes of continuous defensive intensity, the Crimson Bears knocked off the top-seeded Lady Kings 53-31 in the Class 4A Southeast Conference Tournament title game on Friday. The win snapped a three-game losing skid to their southern state rivals.

"For us, Ketchikan is a mental game," JDHS coach Lesslie Knight said Friday. "We never lacked confidence and we never cracked."

Juneau-Douglas proved to itself it can hang with the Kings by employing a non-stop, manic man-to-man defense. No traps, no presses, no tricks did JDHS employ - just straight up pressure.

The Crimson Bears held the Lady Kings scoreless for a nine-minute, 36-second stretch that spanned the second and third quarters.

"This was the last chance we had," said JDHS guard Mahlet Tingley, who had seven steals to go with 12 points and two assists. "What it is is that we took risks. Just play aggressive and take risks."

Juneau-Douglas forced 31 turnovers as guards Tingley, Karli Brakes and Brittany Fenumiai hounded Ketchikan's ball handlers. Kayhi, playing without injured starting point guard Laci Effenberger, struggled advancing the ball past Juneau's quick hands and feet.

While JDHS played well defensively, it took a little while for the offense to find a rhythm.

Ketchikan matched Juneau's defensive intensity with a nasty 3-2 zone. Ketchikan limited Juneau's opportunities early en route to an 11-5 lead.

Juneau cut the lead to two early in the second quarter, but Kalli Kline banked in a 3-pointer with 5:50 left in the half to bump Kayhi's lead to 14-9.

It would be the last points Ketchikan would score until Kathleen Reno's layup with 4:14 left in the third quarter.

JDHS went on an 18-0 run, scoring eight points off steals and six more off offensive rebounds. Juneau's lead swelled to 27-14 before Reno's bucket stopped the bleeding.

"It was positive after positive, steal after steal," Tingley said. "We may not have made all the layups but we were intense."

"It's amazing the way Mahlet controlled the tempo by pushing the ball," Knight said. "She's emerged as a floor leader."

Juneau's lead grew to 38-21 after three quarters as Hannah Swofford came off the bench to turn three offensive rebounds into six points.

Kayhi refused to buckle under the pressure however.

Down 19 early in the fourth quarter, Kayhi scored eight straight points to cut the lead to 11 with 5:57 left in regulation.

JDHS iced the game on the line, though. Juneau made nine of 15 free throws down the stretch for the win.

Conversely, Ketchikan struggled mightily shooting free throws. The Lady Kings made just 5 of 19 from the line.

Brittany Fenumiai posted 12 points and 14 rebounds in the win while Brakes had a team-high eight steals.

Juneau-Douglas 53, Ketchikan 31

JDHS 5 17 16 15 - 53

Kayhi 11 3 7 10 - 31

JDHS (53)-Johnson 1-1 1-2 3, Dierick 0-0 0-0 0, Tingley 1-6 10-15 12, B. Fenumiai 3-5 0-0 12, Brakes 2-5 3-4 7, Harrison 2-2 0-1 4, Tarver 0-1 0-0 0, Highley 0-3 1-6 1, Larson 1-6 0-0 2, N. Fenumiai 1-2 1-2 3, Swofford 3-4 0-0 6, Henderson 0-0 3-4 4. Totals 34 19-34 53.

Kayhi (31)-Peterson 0-3 0-0 0, Watson 0-0 0-0 0, Edwardson 1-2 2-2 4, Marabout 0-0 0-0 0, Covault 0-0 0-1 0, Reno 3-7 2-4 8, Kline 1-2 1-2 9, Doherty 0-0 0-0 0, Greaves 0-0 0-0 0, Blair 4-8 0-9 8, Patton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26 5-19 31.

3-point Goals-JDHS 2-11 (B. Fenumiai 2-5, Tingley 0-2, Harrison 0-2, Brakes 0-1, N. Fenumiai 0-1). Ketchikan 2-18 (Kline 2-8, Peterson 0-4, Edwardson 0-6).

Rebounds-JDHS 40 (B. Fenumiai 14). Ketchikan 37 (Blair 15).

Assists-JDHS 5 (Brakes 3). Ketchikan 8 (Peterson 3).

Fouled out-JDHS none. Ketchikan 1 (Edwardson).

• Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or sports@juneauempire.com.



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