Courtney Mason had a great day. And so did her family.
The senior point guard for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team collected 12 points, seven assists and five steals without committing a single turnover as the Crimson Bears opened the Capital City Classic with a 78-39 win over the West Valley Wolfpack.
Mason's relatives -- including four grandparents from Skagway -- witnessed one of the best games of her career. Her family started the winning earlier when her mother Jean won the Classic's special $1,000 raffle and her grandmother Sheila won the tourney's first 50-50 raffle.
While her family cashed in from the sidelines, Mason was a money player on the court. She had several pinpoint passes through traffic that wowed the crowd of 1,500.
"Our passing was really good," Mason said. "We worked it around so everybody got to shoot."
That resulted in a balanced attack with four Crimson Bears in double figures, led by Amy Neussl with 18 points. Hilary Rehfeld and Michael Kohan added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Neussl, a sophomore who transferred this summer from California, hit eight of 11 shots from the field. She was anxious about her first game as a Bear.
"It can be hard getting used to a (new) team because of matchups, teamwork, offense, defense and who plays what roles," said Neussl, who fit in fine with the Juneau volleyball team this fall. "I was nervous in warmups but the team support made it easy once I stepped on the court."
Juneau (1-0 overall) fell behind early, 8-5. But the Bears went on a 37-9 tear to go up 42-17 by intermission.
Rehfeld, who led the Bears with five rebounds, scored seven straight points to help Juneau take the lead for good late in the first quarter. She eventually hit 6-of-8 from the field while working mostly inside.
"They didn't have a whole lot of height, so it was important to go strong to the basket," Rehfeld said.
While the offense shot about 42 percent from the field (31-for-73) and 58 percent from the foul line (14-for-24), the Crimson Bears defense trapped the Wolfpack with full-court pressure. Kohan collected seven of the Bears' 22 steals.
West Valley coach Bruce Bell said it rattled his team, which was missing two starters.
"I really thought we'd adjust but we didn't," Bell said. "We had a lot of unnecessary turnovers caused by their defense."
Oh no you don't: Juneaus Anna Capacci, left, tries to wrap up West Valleys Shauntee Walker, right, to keep her from making a shot as Juneaus Kendri Cesar, back, helps on defense Wednesday.
BRIAN WALLACE / THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Juneau coach Jim Hamey went to the press to take advantage of his team's quickness. Although the Crimson Bears forced many turnovers, Hamey saw holes in his defense: the Bears got burned by long passes and were beat off the dribble.
"We were just standing around and waiting for them to do something before reacting, instead of of us anticipating and being ready," the Juneau coach said.
Hamey thought his team passed well, collecting 17 assists while committing nine turnovers. In addition to the four Bears in double figures, six other Juneau players scored: Anna Capacci (6), Danielle Larson (6), Kacie Murphy (5), Kari Parr (4), Kendri Cesar (2) and Heather Dillon (2).
West Valley (0-2 overall) was led by freshman Jamie Mireles, who scored 11 points in her first game with the varsity. Teammate Shauntae Walker added nine.
Walker, a team captain, was impressed with the Bears.
"They were fast, real fast," Walker said. "Their defense was really tough and on offense they ran plays over and over until they got the ball to the open spots."
"Collectively, they completely outplayed us one through 15," coach Bell said.
The Juneau girls take on Kentlake on Friday and Gig Harbor on Saturday. Both games are set to tip off at 6 p.m.
"Gig Harbor has a tough post player and Kentlake looks really balanced," coach Hamey said. "It should be fun to match up with them."
Mike Sica can be contacted at email@example.com.
CRIMSON BEARS 78, WOLFPACK 39
Wednesday's girls boxscore from the Capital City Classic at Juneau-Douglas High School
WEST VALLEY (39) -- Kinlee Hawkins 2 0-2 5, Chelsa-Ernst-Brock 0 0-0 0, Coral Stephenson 1 0-0 2, Elizabeth Rexford 2 1-2 5, Renna Hoener 1 0-0 2, Stephanie Johnson 0 3-4 3, Lakale Johnson 0 0-0 0, Jamie Mireles 5 0-1 11, Mary Collins 0 0-0 0, Markeshia Clark 1 0-1 2, Shauntae Walker 3 1-2 9. Totals: 15 5-12 39.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (78) -- Kari Parr 1 2-5 4, Suzanne Parr 0 0-0 0, Michael Kohan 4 2-2 10, Courtney Mason 5 1-2 12, Kendri Cesar 0 2-2 2, Anna Capacci 3 0-0 6, Heather Dillon 1 0-0 2, Julie Heard 0 0-0 0, Amy Neussl 8 1-2 18, Kacie Murphy 1 3-4 5, Hilary Rehfeld 6 1-2 13, Danielle Larson 2 2-4 6, Latasha McKoy 0 0-0 0, Alida Bus 0 0-0 0, Katie Staton 0 0-1 0. Totals: 31 14-24 78.
WEST VALLEY 13 4 7 15 -- 39
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 19 23 18 18 -- 78
3-point goals -- West Valley 4 (Walker 2, Mireles 1, Hawkins 1), Juneau-Douglas 2 (Mason 1, Neussl 1). Fouled out -- West Valley 1 (Hawkins), Juneau-Douglas 0. Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls -- West Valley 18, Juneau-Douglas 16.
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