Pushing the Pace

Chris Lee defends an inbound pass. Courtesy of Melinda Guerrero

Marcus Lee and Hannah Maxwell
Staff Writers

Mathematically speaking, a press shouldn’t work. With only five players allowed on the court at a time, taking those five players and spreading them out across a larger area should give the offense an advantage. But that is not the case. Pressing causes havoc, forces turnovers, and creates a fast pace.
Kayhi boys basketball coach Eric Stockhausen likes to push tempo and has a team that allows him to do that.
“We have a lot of guards that can run and the reason why the press works is because you’re speeding up their thought process.” said Stockhausen. “With our personnel which is small fast guards, we make the game more about decision making, now if we were bigger we would want the opposite and make the game slower.”
The goal in a press is to push pace, create pace, or just wear them down. Kayhi girls basketball coach Kelly Smith uses a press to push the pace of otherwise slow games.
“I played a version of 22 in high school but it wasn’t as aggressive but I really like forcing that tempo and that speed,” Smith said. “There was a year where we graduated our starting five and we averaged 31 points a game, it was just frustrating for everybody. It seemed like we were always fighting an uphill battle and I think the fast game is fun to coach, fun to watch, and it’s fun to play.”
Coach Smith uses presses to control to the pace of games, whether he needs to slow it down or speed it up.
“12 makes us react to what they do so it’s a good change of pace. I’m the type of person that wants to be in control of everything, and 22 puts us in control,” Smith said. “You don’t react on 22 they have to react to you.”  

Full-court pressure in our own words

The goal of our press is to distort the offensive scheme of the other team by switching up defences all game. “12” which is a standard 1-2-1. “22’’- a 2-1-2 with quick guards applying pressure as the “motors” of the press. I’m the “motor” of our 1-2-1, which means I make the other team uncomfortable by forcing them to dribble and force them to make frantic decisions.
It may not be fun and it sure does get a little tiring but the best feeling is when it is working, we might not force a lot of turnovers early, but later in the game when they lose their legs and we go on a run, it’s fun and the work is worth it.
Since we’re not very tall this year we don’t dwell on what we don’t have, but just use it to our advantage. Teams tend to overlook us but not after they watch our press and how aggressive we play. We like the “scrappy’’ play style- diving for loose balls and forcing turnovers. The press definitely gives us that kinda play and gives us the greater advantage when other teams try to play the way we want them too.
My favorite part about the press is the way it gets the crowd excited when scoring two straight layups of a steal and an occasional slam from Chris that gets everyone in the gym of their seats.

“Hunt” is my favorite bit of basketball jargon. It comes from my favorite press, “22” where I am the controller. My job at the front of the press is to force the ball sideline, don’t let them see the floor, get turns, and hunt – pursue anyone who gets past me and tip the ball, even if it’s at the opposite baseline.
If you control the pace of the game, you can impose your will, and win. To do this, we run two presses, the first, “12” is a 1-2-2 in which we are looking to slow the pace and trap the ball at half court. The second is called “22,” it’s a simple 2-2-1 that forces the ball handler to want to go home. We won’t get a steal on every possession, but every opposing player knows that there are two people sprinting full speed right at them.
My favorite part of the press, or even in basketball as a whole, is when Brittany and I get a trap and they think they’ve beat it by throwing it to the middle but Ashley swoops in and is already doing a lay-up on the other end. When it’s all said and done those are the times I will miss the most.


Dance Regions: 5 Things You Need to Know

Dance Team
Courtesy of: Melinda Guerrero

Keri Thomas
Staff Writer

I’ve been sparkling and shining for all of high school, and this week will be the last time in front of the home crowd. Freshman Keri was really nervous when regions was at home and I still am, but I now look forward to those feelings. While most people are excited about the games, for dance team members, it’s our biggest week of the year too.

Here are five things to know about the dance team during their regional competition:

    1. It’s not easy. We had tryouts last May and started practicing nine hours a week once school started. During February it’s been 12 hours. Dancers run stadiums and sprints to build endurance, we do conditioning and strength to be controlled. Everyone knows basketball players work hard but the halftime show isn’t just thrown together these dancers are dedicated and work for it.

    2. Doing flip and tricks comes with a price. A dancer’s goal is to make a routine look easy but it is very clear that it is anything but that. Many members of the dance team have hurt their backs, knees, and hips as they strive to do new and cool tricks in their routines.

    3. The dance team’s regions routine is very different than the regular halftime performances. This routine is about six minutes long and includes extravagant backdrops and costume changes. Our choreographer Latoyia (from the Golden State Warriors dance team) taught us the routine in October and since then we’ve been cleaning and changing the routine to get it adjudication ready.

    4. We revealed our regions routine to the town a week before adjudication. The dance team’s annual Spring Show is where we perform all our regular routines, ending with our tournament routine. At this event, the region’s routine is mock judged to help us get an estimated rating and fix any problems we had. Although there is a public showing, the regions routine theme is top secret. No one is allowed to videotape at this event in order to keep it hidden from other teams and surprise others in the audience.

5. Like other competitions there are lots of rules. The backdrop must be smaller than a certain length and height. Every prop, backdrop, and dancer must be off the floor in 6 minutes and 30 seconds or the judges will take off points from the routine. Dance teams are judged on everything from music, costume changes, and choreography but don’t compete for first, second, or third place. Instead each team is given a rating allowing each team the ability to get the highest rating, regardless of how the other teams do. If the judges give you a rating anything below 70 it’s called comments which is the lowest rating, next is good (70-79), then excellent (80-89), lastly 90 and above is the highest rating of a superior. The past six years the K-Highlites dance team has earned a superior rating.


More Than Basketball


Photo By: Jaylyn Merill

Alex Boegler
Staff Writer

The excitement for the upcoming Regions V Tournament is palpable. Besides the obvious competition between the rival basketball teams, the cheer and dance squads are also battling on the court.
The K-Highlites spend almost half of the year working on their regions routine. It is widely known that the dance team takes this competition very seriously. For the months leading up to the tournament, the theme of the dance is kept under wraps. In the past years, the dance team has performed dances in the themes of the Olympics to candy. Captain of the K-Highlites, Melinda Guerrero, said they spend countless hours practicing and perfecting their dance.
“The minute Clarke ended we moved our focus to regions,” said Guerrero. “We practice roughly 12 hours a week, sometimes more.”
The dance team adjudication date is set for March 10th, at 1 p.m. and they are scored based on the cleanliness of their appearance meaning no stray hairs or wrinkled uniforms, technique, and for the routine itself, judges look for difficulty, originality, and execution.
Much like the dance team, the Kayhi cheerleaders dedicate many hours to improving their routine. Adjudication is not only critiqued on their big halftime performance, but also on their sideline cheers and crowd control. Senior member of the cheer team, Shelby Lewis, breaks down the judges criteria.
“Our team is critiqued on the skill levels of our stunts, the sharpness of our motions, crowd control, how well we work as a team, and transitions during routines,” said Lewis. “The regions routine is only one-third of the final score.”
Pep Club participation with the cheerleaders is essential to helping them earn a good score. Although a large portion of the score is set aside for the main routine, crowd control is a huge part of their adjudication.
“We rely on the pep club a lot to participate in our cheers,” said Lewis. “Not only does that make the gym a more spirited environment, it impresses the judges and boosts our score.”
The Pep Band also has an event going on underneath all the hubbub of basketball and dance, there is an all-star pep band. Although this is not a competition, it is still fun to get chosen to participate in this activity. Pep Band Director, Deidra Nuss, said that the bands aren’t into competing against one another.
“Band is like one big happy family,” said Nuss. “It’s not really a competition.”
Each member is chosen for the all-star pep band by their band director and they will all be playing together on Saturday as one mega skilled Pep Band.


Region Preview How We Got Here

Girls Schedule

Gavin Salazar & Brayden Linne
Staff Writers

Juneau Douglas (10-12, 5-3)
WPI No. 8 (As of Feb. 21)
Last Region Title: 2013
vs. Kayhi: 2-2
vs. WPI Top 8: 2-5
Key player: Caitlin Pusich
Watch out for: Sadie Tuckwood
The Crimson Bears will look to return the favor by upsetting the Lady Kings in Ketchikan as Kayhi did to Juneau last year in the Capital City. The teams split this year, each protecting the home court. Kayhi set the tempo in the first two games as JD was without senior guard Alyxn Bohulano. Bohulano played in the two JD wins, but it was sophomore Sadie Tuckwood who came up huge for the Crimson Bears accounting for 22 points on the weekend. JD had won 7 straight, a streak that started against Kayhi, until being upset on Senior Night by Thunder Mountain.

Thunder Mountain (3-19, 1-7)
WPI No. 16
Last Region Title: None
vs. Kayhi: 0-4
vs. WPI Top 8: 1-9
Key Player: Nina Fenunmiai
Watch out for: Tasi Fenunmiai
Kayhi has owned this series lately winning the last 16 meetings. Dating back to last season, the Lady Kings have outscored the Falcons 233-84 (37.3 margin of victory) in home games. Thunder Mountain’s last win was at Kayhi in the 2015 regional tournament. The Lady Kings responded to win the title the following night to start the current streak of region championships. The Falcons are coming into the tournament with momentum after beating JD on the road to close out the regular season.


Boys schedule

Juneau Douglas (10-13, 3-5)
WPI No. 13
Last Region Title: 2017
vs. Kayhi: 2-2
vs. WPI Top 8: 1-3
Key player: Erik Kelly
Watch out for: Kolby Hoover
Senior Erik Kelly has averaged 20.5 points and 19 rebounds in four games against the Kings this season including a 32-point, 18 rebound effort in a loss to Kayhi Feb. 22. Kelly put up 45 points against La Salle Prep (Ore.) in December. Despite Kelly’s individual dominance, JD is No. 13 in the state WPI and would need to win the region to qualify for the state tournament – a tournament Kelly and teammate Kolby Hoover won as sophomores.

Thunder Mountain (12-10, 5-3)
WPI No. 10
Last Region Title: 2014
vs. Kayhi: 2-2
vs. WPI Top 8: 1-4
Key Player: Puna Toutaiolepo
Watch out for: Luke Clark
Thunder Mountain is the No. 1 seed in the region, but is sitting behind Ketchikan in the WPI rankings and both are on the outside looking in as of Feb. 21. The Falcons are No. 10 in the WPI and are 1-4 in games against the top 8 in the state. That one win was on the road at West Valley, the team that beat Kayhi in the CCCC. Junior Puna Toutaiolepo has dominated the glass against the Kings all year. Senior Luke Clark is their top scorer. “If he hits his first shot, he’s not missing the rest of the night.”


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