In the last two years, the Kayhi boys have had four chances to win the region championship. All four times Juneau-Douglas won on back to back nights and took home the nets.
It’s now or never for Kayhi’s seniors. Senior Jake Taylor has been playing for the team all four years of high school and has seen Kayhi come so close too many times.
“We gotta do it this year,” Taylor said. “ It’s my senior year, and I’m gonna be so mad if we don’t win this year, everything has lined up for us to win, and I’m sick and tired of watching us lose every year.”
The Kings have been the favorites all season and have beat both Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain by 30 points this year.
Senior Cody Kemble feels the pressure about winning regions.
“I can feel the pressure this year more than ever,” Kemble said. “We’ve beaten Juneau and Thunder Mountain 3 times each already, and although that boosts my confidence, that puts more pressure on us to win the championship and come home with the net.”
Though Kayhi has lopsided victories over Thunder Mountain and Juneau, both have a level of confidence as both beat Kayhi on their home floors. Kayhi lost their first games against Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas.
Junior Kristian Pihl said that Kayhi wasn’t mentally ready in those games and believes it won’t happen again.
“We came off too easy in those games,” Pihl said. ”We’re on neutral ground though now, no one holds the advantage in this game, so we’re gonna make sure we come out on fire against JD and Thunder Mountain.”
KNOW THE OPPONENT
Juneau Douglas (12-12, 3-5)
Last Region Title: 2018
vs. Kayhi: 1-3
vs. other 4A teams: 5-11
Key Player: Cooper Kriegmont
Watch out for: Phillip Gonzalez
Juneau Douglas beat Kayhi earlier this season so you can’t count them out. Kayhi needs to play tough defense and force Kriegmont to make a pass or a bad shot. Kayhi also needs to come out on fire, they can’t let JD get any leads in the first period.
Thunder Mountain (10-13, 3-5)
Last Region Title: 2014
vs. Kayhi: 1-3
vs. other 4A teams: 8-12
Key Player: Bryson Echiverri
Watch out for: Brady Carandang
Both Carandang and Echiverri are capable of catching fire from the three point line. Kayhi also has to watch out for Puna Toutaoilepo, 5’10” center that plays like he’s 6’3”.