The post-season awards are already rolling in for the top-rated Juneau-Douglas girls' basketball team, and they haven't even begun their quest for a 4A state tournament title yet.
Four of the Crimson Bears' usual starting five were named to the Alaska Newspapers Inc./Alaska Coaches All-State teams, with senior wing Brittany Fenumiai earning a spot on the First Team alongside archrival Ketchikan forward Crystal Blair.
Junior power forward Taylor Larson was named Second Team All-State alongside Ketchikan senior combo guard Alexis Edwardson, while junior JDHS point guard Karli Brakes and senior forward Annette Highley made the Third Team.
JDHS senior shooting guard Alex DeRocher made Honorable Mention on the boys' side.
Larson was almost at a loss for words.
"Second Team All-State, I've never gotten anything like that," said Larson, a three-year member of the varsity. "That's just really exciting."
Brakes, her classmate, said she was grateful to be honored, and that several players from the 21-3 Crimson Bears are deserving this year.
"I'm really glad a lot of our girls got on the teams. I really think Brittany deserved First Team, and I'm glad Taylor got Second. And I'm pumped that Annette and I got Third," she said. "I think a lot of us, if we were on different teams, a lot more of us would have made the teams.
"We have a really deep bench and we're all pretty good."
Highley agreed with Brakes' assessment that several Bears were deserving.
"It's really nice to be recognized for all of our hard work. It just shows how good we are as a team," she said. "We have a lot of players that contribute, and it's hard to pick teams like that. The fact that four of us were recognized is a really nice thing."
Fenumiai said it was somewhat of a surprise to her to make the First Team. She had to miss three games and more than a week of practice after having knee surgery in December during the Capital City Classic.
"I wasn't expecting it. People have talked to me about it but I just said, 'We'll see what happens.' I don't play to get awards. I play for my team, and I play my heart out as hard as I can go for my team," she said. "It shows how great our program is, not only our players but our coaches.
"They really make us better players on the court, and people off the court."
Coach Lesslie Knight agreed that having so many players selected from one team validates the JDHS program as a whole on the state level.
"It says a lot about our program and I'm really proud of where we're at this year," she said. "After those four that were recognized, there's the next four in line that compete with them and push them every day - on any given day we can shuffle our starters.
"We really value their commitment and how hard they've worked to be as good as they are."
Alaska Newspapers Inc./Alaska Coaches
Class 4A Girls All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Keiahnna Engel, Dimond
Coach of the Year - Tim Helvey, West
Keiahnna Engel, Dimond; Brittany Fenumiai, Juneau-Douglas; Crystal Blair, Ketchikan; Adrina Lavern-Tosi, West; Kelsie Cottle, Wasilla.
Taylor Larson, Juneau-Douglas; Tessla Rennie, West; Alexis Edwardson, Ketchikan; Kaitlyn Klapperich, Colony; Karen Senette, Soldotna.
Emily Watzke, Chugiak; Karli Brakes, Juneau-Douglas; Annette Highley, Juneau-Douglas; Lexi Sayer, Chugiak; Alex Brewster, South.
Symphony Bagsby, Dimond; Celeste Colegrove, Wasilla; Joanna Garcia, Kodiak; Alyssa Hutchins, Colony; Hannah Mattson, West Valley; Ashleigh Owens, East; Kathleen Reno, Ketchikan; Rachel Schoenborn, East.
Class 4A Boys All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Travis Thompson, Dimond
Coach of the Year - Rob Galosich, Dimond
Travis Thompson, Dimond; Devon Bookert, West; Damon Sherman-Newsome, Bartlett; Justin Kauffman, West; John Palmer, Colony.
Tom Feeney, West; Jeff Whicker, Ketchikan; Cody Grussendorf, Thunder Mountain; Juwan Harris, East; Cody Pfeifer, Wasilla.
Jesse Ward, North Pole; Ryden Hines, Dimond; Stefan Johnson, East; Conner Devine, Wasilla; Dustin Theis, Chugiak.
A.J. Banks, East; Kody Broderick, North Pole; Tyller Bell, Ketchikan; Boomer Blossom, Soldotna; Blaine Carver, Soldotna; Alex DeRocher, Juneau-Douglas; Adam Klie, Service; Malik King, Bartlett; Keith Mays, Lathrop; Colby Mitchell, Chugiak; Kyle Titus, Palmer.
Class 1A Girls All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Jo-Jo Nashookpuk, Alak
Coach of the Year - Jerry Carroll, Fort Yukon
Jo-Jo Nashookpuk, Alak; Jessica Schneider, Akiachak; Julie Ann Reed, Kiana; Cierra Robustellini, Port Lions; Heather Saccheus, Shaktoolik.
Sheralyn Sockpealuk, Golovin; Stephanie Wong, Atqasuk; Chelsea Kasayulie, Akiachak; Molly Nassuk, Koyuk; Jayde Sheldon, Kobuk Valley.
Bridgette Ahkivgak, Atqasuk; Doris Adams, Koyuk; Michelle Saccheus, Shaktoolik; Katie Strong, Port Lions; Kandace Carroll, Fort Yukon.
Beth Alexander, Minto; Brittannee Erhart, Tanana; Francine Larsen, Napaskiak; Stacey Panruk, Chefornak.
Class 1A Boys All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Jonny Samuelson, King Cove
Coach of the Year - Bob Rychnovsky, Newhalen
Jonny Samuelson, King Cove; Swenson Tocktoo, Brevig Mission; Coplain Roby, Sand Point; Jack Williams, Anaktuvak Pass; Robert Clay, Newhalen.
Brad Reich, Kiana; Brandon Smith, Sand Point; Travis Tunguing, Kolikginek; Donovan Nungasak, Atqasuk; Oscar Takak Jr., Elim.
Mathew Askoak, Newhalen; George Okbaok, Teller; Chadwick Kapotak, New Stuyahok; Gerald Cleveland, Kobuk Valley; Frank Amaktoolik, Golovin.
Simon Aguvluk, Alak; Travis Andrew, Napaskiak; Tyler Anelon, Newhalen; Jordan Hamilton, King Cove; George John, Toksook Bay; Simeon Kunaknana, Anaktuvak Pass; Peter Walcott, New Stuyahok.
Class 2A Girls All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Jessica Williams, Noorvik
Coach of the Year - Lara Labesky, Skagway
Jessica Williams, Noorvik; Mary Olson, Chevak; Katrina Fraker, Yakutat; Jesse Ellis, Skagway; Whitney Carlos, Togiak.
Chelsea Lake, Chevak; Kayla O'Daniel, Skagway; Donna Nash, Point Hope; Ellen Esbenshade, Yakutat; Joanne Semaken, Unalakleet.
Amie Smithwick, Cook Inlet Academy; Martha Ticket, Selawik; Erin Zibell, Noorvik; Katherine Albert, Northway; Brianna Kirk, Noatak.
Amber Atchak, Stebbins; Maggie Beans, St. Mary's; Tina Esbenshade, Yakutat; Windy Gore, Tri-Valley; Frieda Grierson, Shishmaref; Shannon Hosken, Effie Kokrine; Michelle Lane, Point Hope; Susie Lee, Buckland; Rory Leaverton, Skagway; Marceline Lee, Selawik; Lindsey Rohr, Ninilchik; Heather Sinnok, Shishmaref.
Class 2A Boys All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Adam Sage, Point Hope
Coach of the Year - John Carle, Hydaburg
Adam Sage, Point Hope; Pete Katongan, Unalakleet; Brett Kirk, Noatak; Ebrulik Frankson, Point Hope; Larry Jones, Selawik.
Zach Lane, Point Hope; Miizuk Nayokpuk, Shishmaref; Danny Wells, Noorvik; Clint Ivers, Yakutat; Brad Reich, Kiana.
Thomas Etue, Skagway; Jesse Hadley, Buckland; Rick Carle, Klawock; Adam Dolan, Kake; Stuart Towarak, Unalakleet.
Sam Bennett, Ninilchik; Kaden Carle, Hydaburg; Conor Ferguson, Chevak; Leo Huntington, Effrie Kokrine; Dion Jackson, Klawock; Jefferson Klapak, Ninilchik; Andrew Talerico, Tri-Valley; Jaxon Wassillie, Bristol Bay.
Class 3A Girls All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Debbiey Simmers, Anchorage Christian
Coach of the Year - Ryan Meyers, Barrow
Debbiey Simmers, Anchorage Christian; Jubilee Sutherland, Glennallen; Kathryn Medinger, Sitka; Kaitlyn Auble, Valdez; Jenna Buchanon, Galena.
Nicole Pingayok, Mt. Edgecumbe; Lainey Beaver, Mt. Edgecumbe; Chantell Bennett, Anchorage Christian; Teal Webber, Cordova; Kivvaq Nungasak, Barrow.
Justine Chapman, Sitka; Misa Webber, Cordova; Emily Draper, Seward; Karly Madren, Anchorage Christian; Kristin Smeaton, Dillingham.
Karimae Carlson, Sitka; Chelsey Clarke, Seward; Sydnee Falkner, Glennallen; Holly Ganser, Seward; Morgan Falter, Petersburg; Christina Fields, Mt. Edgecumbe; Devynn Johnson, Nome; Abbie Jones, Haines; Kira Polk, Bethel; Alicia Mendez, Monroe Catholic; Echo Winfrey, Hutchison.
Class 3A Boys All-State Basketball Team
Player of the Year - Jeremy Head, Nome
Coach of the Year - Jeremy Arnhart, Barrow
Jeremy Head, Nome; Kyle Fossman, Haines; Jeremiah Ridgeway, Heritage Christian; Tyler Adams, Barrow; Kevin Rima, Hutchison.
Ron Francher, Grace Christian; Amos Vreeman, Heritage Christian; Wayne Holmberg, Galena; Devonte Sparrow, Eielson; Herbert Guthrie, Metlakatla.
Andrew Buchanan, Seward; Christian Brockert, Cordova; Brodie Smith, Bethel; Albert Gerke, Barrow; Jonathan Millar, Heritage Christian.
Caleb Davis, Grace Christian; Mason Evans, Nome; Josh Lorence, Glennallen; Cameron Lynch, Unalaska; Keenan Mays, Hutchison; Dane Meyer, Cordova; Jakob Pulsiefer, Eielson; Tim Sullivan, Nome; Daniel Thomas, Barrow; Victor Unutoa, Barrow; Brando Wik, Nikiski.
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.