The Juneau-Douglas High School Lady Crimson Bears overwhelmed the Wrangell Lady Wolves 64-40 in their 2007 Capital City Classic basketball tournament opener Thursday evening.
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Shooting guard Kristin Dierick poured in 13 first-half points and finished with a game high 20. In the effort, Dierick nailed four of Juneau-Douglas's six three-point field goals.
Coming into the contest, JDHS players knew they had a good game plan to contain Wrangell's offense. By the beginning of the second quarter, the plan was obvious working.
"To beat Wrangell, we really focused on staying low, playing good defense, and having good communication by talking a lot," said player Annette Highley.
"A lot!" added Dierick. "We also knew that Wrangell doesn't have the strongest ball handlers, so if we swarmed the dribbler, we knew we could force bad passes."
Just after tip-off, the Lady Bears defense pressured the Wolves from end to end and forced the errors they sought. The Bears' suffocating traps opened up opportunities to run the fast break and shoot from the perimeter.
JDHS center Hannah Swofford said, "They play a zone defense. By working the ball around quickly, we got the ball to our good outside shooters."
Unfortunately, Juneau's perimeter shooting did not catch on until the second half of the game. Although the Wolves played Juneau tight in the first quarter, they went into halftime with a 12-point deficit, 35-23.
The Lady Wolves insisted on running their half court offense by driving the lanes and looking to get center Courtney McCay involved in the game. Sadly insistent on making the extra pass, Wrangell turned the ball over too many times to keep the game close. As stealthy point guard Karli Brakes pushed the Lady Bears' tempo, JDHS's lead increased to 19 with the score 57-38, midway through the fourth quarter.
Highley worked hard inside and out and scored 13 points with high percentage shots. Sarah Tarver added another 11 points in the lopsided victory.
Michelle Villarma led Wrangell with 14 points as Jessica Ritchie scored 10 and McCay hit 7.
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