The team manager strikes again.
On Sunday, for the second time in four years, a Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball manager showed up the field at the Princess Cruises-Capital City Classic free-throw shooting competition.
This year it was sophomore Lloyd Lewin, who held off North Pole's Jacob Borkovec for the title - to the delight of Crimson Bear players watching from the bleachers.
"This morning we had a shootaround, and I just shot free throws the whole time," Lewin said. "I missed 75 percent of those. I don't know what happened (in the competition). I just tried to be calm."
Lewin was surrounded by Crimson Bear players - including the champions from the last two years, JDHS seniors Alex Heumann (2002) and Adam Nelson (2001) - after winning the contest.
"They were shocked," Lewin said of his team. "I'm usually pretty bad at free throws. It was just my lucky day."
The free-throw competition starts as a long line of shooters on the floor, with competitors heading back to the bleachers after they miss. Traditionally, the contest is open to everyone - players, coaches, managers, cheerleaders, band members and so on. In 2000, Juneau boys basketball manager Aaron Larson won the competition.
Lewin picked up where Larson left off, hitting nothing but net on nearly every attempt.
"He hung in there," Juneau boys coach George Houston said. "He wasn't hitting much rim at all."
Juneau junior Mary Rehfeld won the girls 3-point contest by sinking 11 of 20 shots in the one-minute time limit. Juneau senior Heather Dillon was second with 10, followed by Leah Stepovich of Monroe Catholic of Fairbanks and Steph Dahlke of North Pole with nine apiece.
The 3-point competition is open to two players from each team, and entrants are given one minute to take four shots from each of five different spots around the arc.
"Last year I got three," Rehfeld said. "It's a huge step up."
Rehfeld said she worked in the offseason to change her shooting form and speed up her release. Rehfeld hit one 3-pointer in Saturday's season-opening win over Monroe - when the whole team was battling a case of first-game jitters - and said she hopes to contribute more in games to come.
Juneau girls coach Lesslie Knight was pleased with the performances of Rehfeld and Dillon.
"Both girls did a really good job, and we're hoping to see it in the games the next two days," Knight said.
In the girls free-throw competition, Kristi Koon of Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.) outdueled Stepovich to win the title. After Juneau's Heather Dillon missed to narrow the field to two, Koon and Stepovich proceeded to match each other shot-for-shot for several minutes. After Stepovich finally missed, Koon stepped to the line and calmly sank her shot for the crown.
In the boys 3-point contest, Dennis Heenan of Newport Harbor hit 12 of 20 shots to edge Heumann and North Pole's Brad Seavey, who each made 11. Robert Hunter of Newport Harbor hit 10 shots, followed by Juneau's Scott Lesh and North Pole's Matt Zanazzo, who each made nine.
In the slam-dunk competition, Olympic's Brian Smith emerged from a three-way tie to win the title.
Smith was deadlocked with teammate Brendan Campbell and North Pole's Chris Powell after the first round of competition, but Smith was the only one of the three to make his dunk in the extra round.
Newport Harbor's Brett Perrine and Jamie Diefenbach also competed. Diefenbach - at 6-foot-8 the tallest player in the tournament - injured his left knee on a made dunk; his status for the remainder of the tourney is not known. No Juneau players participated in the contest.
The Capital City Classic continues today at the JDHS main gym with the following lineup: Newport Harbor girls vs. Monroe Catholic, 1 p.m.; Newport Harbor boys vs. North Pole, 3 p.m.; Juneau-Douglas girls vs. North Pole, 6 p.m.; Juneau-Douglas boys vs. Olympic, 8 p.m.
The tournament concludes on Tuesday, when the schedule is: Monroe girls vs. North Pole, 1 p.m.; North Pole boys vs. Olympic, 3 p.m.; Juneau-Douglas girls vs. Newport Harbor, 6 p.m.; Juneau-Douglas boys vs. Newport Harbor, 8 p.m.
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capital City Classic
Today's schedule at JDHS.
1 p.m.: Newport Harbor girls vs. Monroe Catholic School.
3 p.m.: Newport Harbor boys vs. North Pole.
6 p.m.: Juneau-Douglas girls vs. North Pole.
8 p.m.: Juneau-Douglas boys vs. Olympic.