The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team utilized a suffocating second-half defense to open the season with a win.
The Crimson Bears (1-0) held Wasilla to just 11 points in the final two quarters to earn a 41-29 victory Tuesday in the Capital City Classic.
"I thought we played our best defense in the third quarter by far," JDHS coach Lesslie Knight said. "I didn't like a lot of our switches in the first half. I think we were taking the easy route out there."
With the score tied 18-18 at halftime, Juneau-Douglas junior Talisa Rhea put some distance between the defending state champs and Wasilla.
After Hillarie Putnam put the Warriors ahead 20-18 early in the third quarter, JDHS embarked on a 10-0 run to seize control of the contest.
Rhea scored six straight points and dished out an assist to Andrea Doerflinger in the run, giving the Crimson Bears a 28-20 lead.
Juneau-Douglas then made the lead stand by holding Wasilla to just nine points the rest of the way.
The big second half was needed after Wasilla and the Crimson Bears played a nip-and-tuck first half.
Playing its first game of the season, JDHS looked rusty early in the game.
The Warriors used an aggressive full-court press and crashed the boards early, earning second- and third chance shots in the process. Wasilla struggled to convert those opportunities into points, however.
Wasilla also attacked the lane in the first half but failed to score from the floor or at the line. The team hit only 2-of-8 free throws in the first quarter to trail 10-7.
Wasilla continued to force turnovers and attack the offensive glass in the second quarter. Jessica Carter's backdoor jumper capped a 6-0 run to start the quarter as the Warriors surged to a 12-10 lead.
Lexi Garvey tied the game at 12 and also ended a Juneau-Douglas scoring drought of more than five minutes.
Maddie Swofford, Juneau's 6-foot-1 senior center, provided a spark late in the first half as she blocked a Wasilla shot and scored on the other end to put JDHS up 18-14.
Wasilla scored the final four points of the half, though, as Anne Wessler capitalized on a JDHS turnover at the buzzer to make the score 18-18 at halftime.
Wasilla shot just 18.2 percent from the floor in the first half while JDHS connected on 45 percent of its shots.
Nicole Fenumiai led the Bears with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Rhea scored nine points and pulled down a team-high nine boards while Lexi Garvey, Jordan Harvey, Kerstin Kimlinger and Doerflinger added four points a piece in the win.
Sophia Smith, Veronica Lietz and Swofford scored two points each for JDHS.
For Wasilla, Putnam led her team with eight points.
Wesser had seven points, Carter scored six points, Shelby Fulton had four points, Jenna Johnson added two points while Ashley Semler and Ayla Brown had one point each for the Bears.
Carson City, Nev. 46, Kilsyth, Aus. 22
Nine different players scored for Carson City, Nev., as it earned an opening night victory over the Kilsyth Cobras from Australia.
Sinead McSweeney led all scorers with 13 points for the victorious Senators.
Nicole Scott had nine points, Abby Rankl posted seven points while Brandi Veck, Catherine Brekken, Rosella Nunez, Kaitlin Burroughs, Sarah Evans, Nicole Scott and Christina Works all scored in the win.
For Kilsyth, Alysha Middlin and Laura Gebbins scored five points each.
Nicolette Krusemann had four points, Caitlin Streader chipped in with two points while Lauren Thompson and Courtney Healy contributed three points each for the Cobras.