SITKA - There was something about Mary for the Juneau girls in the first half of Saturday's 3A-4A Southeast championship game.
Junior Mary Rehfeld scored 16 of the Crimson Bears' 18 first-half points, and a more balanced offense took control in the second half as Class 4A Juneau-Douglas beat Class 3A Petersburg 42-39 at Mount Edgecumbe High School.
"That was unexpected," Rehfeld said. "I don't know what was with me. I just felt it in warmups, and it went from there."
The victory against a persistent Vikings squad, ranked No. 1 in the state's Class 3A poll, gave the Crimson Bears - No. 4 in Class 4A - their third straight Southeast crown. Last year, the Juneau girls beat Petersburg 57-36.
"Bottom line, it's about getting a win," Juneau coach Lesslie Knight said. "But we're still playing a little flat. I'm hoping we come out strong on Thursday in Anchorage."
Rehfeld completed a three-point play and hit two 3-pointers to account for Juneau's scoring in the first quarter as the Crimson Bears took a 9-7 lead.
In the second, Petersburg went up 11-9 before another Rehfeld 3 put Juneau up 12-11. A fourth Rehfeld 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the half put Juneau up 18-15 at halftime.
Petersburg's free-throw difficulties hurt the Vikings' chances to take the lead in the first half; they were 5-for-11 from the line in the first two quarters.
Juneau spread the scoring around in the second half.
After Petersburg went up 22-20 with 3:29 left in the third quarter, senior Tasha McKoy took a pass from senior Heather Dillon inside and put in a layup to tie the game. Dillon hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left, and Juneau was up 25-23 going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, two straight 3-pointers by freshman Talisa Rhea gave Juneau a 37-27 lead, and the Crimson Bears held off the Vikings down the stretch.
Rehfeld finished with 17 points, Rhea added eight and Dillon scored seven for Juneau-Douglas (19-5).
"Mary's kind of went away for a couple of weeks, but it's important that she goes into state confident and fired up," Knight said.
Senior Britni Birchell scored 17 points and senior Kayleigh Short scored 14 for Petersburg (21-2).
"We just said we were going to go out, run, have fun and play as hard as we could - and that's what we did," Petersburg coach Dino Brock said.
"A couple more free throws, and it would have been a different game."
Due to time constraints, the Crimson Bears never got to cut down the net after beating Ketchikan in Friday night's Class 4A championship. After beating Petersburg, the Crimson Bears finally got their chance.
Rhea, as a freshman, was one of the last Crimson Bears to get the scissors.
"It was a great way to start out a Southeast career," she said.
Look for additional coverage of the region tourney - including details on awards, crossover game box scores and more photos - throughout the week in the Juneau Empire.
Metlakatla 81, Ketchikan 74, OT
For the second year in a row, Class 3A boys reign over Southeast.
Chris Bryant scored 39 points as Metlakatla beat Class 4A Ketchikan in overtime in the boys crossover Southeast championship game.
Unlike last year's crossover game, which saw Craig rout Juneau-Douglas, Saturday's game went down to the wire.
Ketchikan tied the game at 24-all on a 3-pointer by Jesse LeBeau as time expired in the first quarter, and the Kings built a 47-34 halftime lead behind three more LeBeau 3s in the second quarter.
Metlakatla still trailed 63-54 entering the fourth quarter before Bryant scored 11 points and Beau Hayward added two 3-pointers in the final period - all while the Chiefs defense held Kayhi to eight points.
Hayward hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left in regulation to put the Chiefs up 71-69, but Derek Clark answered with a basket with just over 30 seconds left to tie the game.
A last-second jumper by Metlakatla's Shane Martinez failed to fall.
In the overtime period, Bryant sank a basket to make it 73-72 Metlakatla, but failed to convert the free throw for a three-point play. He got a hold of the rebound, though, and hit a 3-point shot that but the Chiefs up 76-72. Metlakatla held on for the win.
Hayward added 23 points and Martinez scored 14 for Metlakatla, which doused coach Josh Muehlenkamp with a water cooler during the awards ceremony.
Tyler Richardson scored 22 points and LeBeau scored 21 for Ketchikan. Clark finished with 15 points and Nate Norton added 11.
Third-place crossover games
Sitka girls 45, Mount Edgecumbe 38
Kim Dodson scored 17 points as the Class 4A Wolves built a 25-13 lead at halftime and held off the Class 3A Braves.
Miranda Whitson added seven points for Sitka in the battle of crosstown rivals.
Bunky Keyes and Desiree Merculief each scored seven points to lead Class 3A state tourney-bound Mount Edgecumbe.
Mount Edgecumbe boys 75, Sitka 42
Scott Patkotak scored 15 points and Josh Thomas added 11 as the Class 3A Braves trounced the Class 4A Wolves.
Every Mount Edgecumbe player scored as the Braves led 33-25 at halftime before going on a 20-5 run in the third quarter. Brandon Thomas added 10 points for the Braves.
Andrew Broschat scored 13 points and Mark Manuel and Keith Stedman added six points apiece for Sitka.
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org