The Crimson Bears stuck to the tried-and-true - led by the inside game of senior Tasha McKoy - to beat the Ketchikan Kings 49-39 and earn a return trip to the state tournament.
After watching the Kings play in Thursday's play-in game against Sitka, the Crimson Bears were a little surprised to find openings inside.
"What Ketchikan did really well against Sitka is double-down on (Wolves post Kim) Dodson, and I thought they'd do that to Tash," Knight said.
The Crimson Bears were able to thread the ball inside to McKoy, who scored 18 points.
"There was good passing into the post," McKoy said, noting how in practice last week, the coaches mandated bounce passes inside under penalty of sprinting drills.
"I got a lot of bounce passes," McKoy said.
McKoy also added six steals in the game.
"She played excellent," teammate Nicole Lupro said of McKoy. "If you put pressure on the (Ketchikan) guards and forced them to make a pass, Tash got it."
"We didn't play really well offensively, so it was big for us to get those defensive steals," Knight said.
Ketchikan stayed close in the first quarter thanks to seven points from sophomore Laura West, who was having success inside before running into a bit of foul trouble. Juneau took a 13-9 lead after one period, and jumped ahead in the second with consecutive 3-pointers by junior Mary Rehfeld.
Juneau held a 28-15 lead at halftime, and were still well ahead - 40-25 - entering the fourth quarter. Kayhi stayed competitive, but the final nine-point margin was as close as the Kings could get.
Rehfeld added 11 points and freshman Talisa Rhea scored six for the Crimson Bears (19-5), who will play in the state tournament at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage starting Thursday. Brackets will be announced later this week.
The Crimson Bears hit 22 of 36 free throws in the game, while Ketchikan was 13-for-21.
Kendri Cesar, who was questionable before the contest with a back injury, started and played most of the game.
"I really wanted to play," said Cesar, who as a freshman was with the Crimson Bears when they lost to Ketchikan in the region title game on the same court in 2001. "Yesterday I still couldn't walk very well, but I knew I was going to get better."
Rehfeld got a call before the game from her sister, Hilary, who also was on the 2001 team.
"She told me, 'Mary, you know what you've got to do. We can't let that happen again,'" Rehfeld said. "This weekend was sort of for her."
The loss marked the end of the season for Kayhi (14-9 overall), which will return all of its starters next season.
Laura West scored nine points to lead the Kings, while Tory Edwardson added eight points for Ketchikan.
"This whole team is very special," first-year head coach Bob Hammer said. "They've got something to prove, and I hope this is just the start. ...
"Juneau is a very good team. I wish them the best at state. They'll be a good representative for the region."
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASS 4A GIRLS
CRIMSON BEARS 49, KINGS 39
Friday's Region V-Class 4A tournament girls championship game from Mount Edgecumbe High School
KETCHIKAN (39) - Raquelle Pahang 0 0-0 0, Karin Voetberg 0 2-2 2, Lindy Henrick 1 2-2 5, Tory Edwardson 2 3-6 8, Laura West 4 1-3 9, Destiny Bell 1 4-6 6, Larissa Otness 1 0-0 2, Crystal Reno 0 0-0 0, Katie Geldaker 3 1-2 7. Totals: 12 13-21 39.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (49) - Lexi Garvey 0 1-2 1, Kendri Cesar 1 2-2 5, Nicole Lupro 1 2-3 4, Jordan Harvey 0 0-0 0, Heather Dillon 0 2-2 2, Mary Rehfeld 4 1-3 11, Kate Potter 0 0-0 0, Talisa Rhea 0 6-8 6, Erin Thompson 0 0-0 0, Jordan Johnston 0 0-0 0, Tasha McKoy 5 8-14 18, Alida Bus 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 22-36 49.
KETCHIKAN 9 6 10 14 - 39
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 10 18 7 9 - 49
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