The Gig Harbor Tides -- led by their career rebound and assist leaders -- outboarded and outpassed the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears for a 61-54 victory Saturday night, giving the Tides a perfect 3-0 tournament record and the championship of Juneau's Capital City Classic.
Stephanie Dressel, a 6-foot-1 center, scored a team-high 18 points and shared rebounding honors with fellow senior Klara Durkee. They had eight apiece as the Tides dominated inside.
Gig Harbor, of Washington, improved to 8-1 overall and Juneau fell to 2-1.
Dressel set her school's rebound record while collecting 28 points and 21 boards against Kentlake (Kent, Wash.) on Wednesday. Junior guard Avery Greene set the assist mark in the same game.
Juneau assistant coach Jer Hamey was impressed with Dressel's moves and moxie.
"When you're 6-1 and have that type of athleticism, you're going to be a very good player," Hamey said. "More importantly, she plays with a high level of confidence, which is half the battle."
Her strategy is simple: box out while watching the shot and anticipating its bounce off the rim or backboard.
Dressel, selected as the tournament MVP, was impressed with the offensive play of her Juneau counterpart, Hilary Rehfeld, who finished with a game-high 19 points.
"Hilary has really good post moves," said Dressel, who stayed at Rehfeld's home for the second time. She was with the Tides when they competed in the Classic two years ago.
In Saturday's final, the Crimson Bears led early as sophomore Amy Neussl scored seven of her 11 points in the first quarter to help put her team up, 15-14. The Tides then went on a 22-11 run in the second quarter and led 36-26 at intermission.
Juneau struck back as senior Michael Kohan -- limited by foul trouble while trying to defend Dressel -- scored all nine of her points in the third quarter, including seven in the final minute to close the gap at 47-42.
The Bears had reduced a 13-point deficit to five, but Kohan picked up her fourth foul early in the final quarter.
"It was devastating," Hamey said. "Michael had the hot hand but we had to take her out so she's available at the end of the game."
It allowed the Tides to concentrate on defending Rehfeld and Neussl. Gig Harbor held on to dethrone the defending Classic champs with Kristi Lynn -- who chipped in 13 points -- Durkee and Greene hitting key free throws.
While Dressel won the top individual honor, teammates Durkee, Greene and Kalia Lee made the all-tourney team. Rehfeld, Mason and Kohan made it for Juneau.
"We really wanted to come back (Juneau) and win this tournament," said Gig Harbor coach Bob Boback, whose team finished 1-2 in the 1998 Classic. "We were pretty shell-shocked two years ago, opening in front of such a big crowd."
Juneau 60, Kentlake 52
Michael Kohan, responding to her coach's challenge, pulled down 14 rebounds and hit 9-of-10 free throws to help the Juneau-Douglas High School girls beat the Kentlake Falcons, 60-52, Friday night in the Capital City Classic.
Hilary Rehfeld scored a career-high 27 points and Courtney Mason added 13 as the Crimson Bears improved their record to 2-0. Courtney Thompson scored 18 points for Kentlake, a 2-6 team with several losses to big schools in Washington state.
Kohan was approached by coach Jim Hamey Wednesday night, following Juneau's 39-point blowout of West Valley. He had a simple question: "How many defensive rebounds did you have?"
The 5-foot-9 senior forward did not know.
"It's not hard to count, you had none," said Hamey, with his knack for seeing the clouds through the silver lining.
Kohan, who doesn't worry about personal statistics, focused on helping her team by crashing the boards against Kentlake.
"I just went for the ball, even if it was in an opponent's hands, and didn't worry about fouls," she said. "I tried to go over and under people."
Kohan also hit eight straight free throws before missing one in the final minute.
Kentlake played without center Jennifer Inscore, who suffered an injury in the Falcons' 62-57 opening-round loss to Gig Harbor on Wednesday.
Rehfeld, a 6-1 junior, took advantage inside.
She scored 17 of her 27 points in the second half to help stem several Kentlake rallies. Rehfeld converted 11 of 14 foul shots -- including her last eight -- using a shot-put style heave.
"I work on it for hours and hours in practice," she said. "It looks pretty weird but if it goes in, that's OK."
Rehfeld also was accurate from the field, knocking down six of nine shots.
"As well as she did, Hilary owes a lot to teammates who got her the ball at the right time," Hamey said. He praised guards Mason (senior), Kari and Suzanne Parr (both juniors), and freshman Kendri Cesar, as "absolutely critical" to the team.
Juneau never trailed nor led by more than nine points. The game was tied four times in the first half, with the home team ahead at intermission, 28-25.
The action went from intense to incredible early in the third quarter. The Bears were clinging to a 30-29 lead when Kentlake forward Nikki Russo rebounded a shot and put it right back up and into Juneau's basket.
Rehfeld was nearby and got credit for the field goal.
"I'm just glad we didn't lose by one or two points," Kentlake coach Bob Sandall said.
The bizarre play embarrassed Russo, who was trying to make a good impression during the Classic. She has many relatives in Juneau, and often comes here for the Fourth of July.
"I didn't realize it was the wrong basket until after I heard the other team, the cheerleaders and the fans, all saying, 'thanks for the basket, thanks for the points,'" Russo said.
Juneau went up, 48-39, early in the fourth quarter before Kentlake battled back. With under three minutes remaining, Thompson hit a long jumper to close the gap at 50-47. She was later named to the all-tourney team along with teammate Shuree Hyatt.
Thompson, a sophomore, scored eight of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. She also helped key her team's fastbreak offense and full-court defense.
"She's got excellent control of her body when she drives and makes quick changes in direction," Hamey said. "She glides over the floor and we had a heck of a time staying in front of her."
Mason, Rehfeld and Kohan combined for 10 points down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Crimson Bears scored more than half of their points from the foul line, converting 31 of 52 free throws. They shot 23 in the fourth quarter as Kentlake fouled in attempt to stay with Juneau.
Mike Sica can be reached at email@example.com.
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.