The Lady Kings look to extend their streak against Thunder Mountain to 23 games when they open on Tuesday at the Region V Tournament. Kayhi is the No. 2 seed and Thunder Mountain is No. 3. During the streak, Kayhi has outscored the Falcons 1116-718, defeating them by an average of 18.1 PPG. If the Lady Kings win on Tuesday they will go up against the No. 1 seed Juneau-Douglas. Kayhi has gone 1-3 against JD this season. While Kayhi is 1-3 in their last four regular season games against JD, they are 4-0 in their last Region V tournament games against the Bears. Kayhi has won five consecutive Region V titles dating back to 2014. Senior Payton Simmons is the only player that was on varsity for the 2016 title, and has a chance to finish her career with four titles. Simmons has been sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. “Finishing my career with a fourth region title would be amazing,” Simmons said. “We have been working really hard as a team the past four years I’ve been in high school for one goal, the region title. It’s a really cool feeling cutting the net down knowing all the hard work paid off.”
KNOW THE OPPONENT
Juneau Douglas (12-8, 4-2) Last Region Title: 2013 vs. Kayhi: 1-3 vs. other 4A teams 5-5 Key player: Caitlin Pusich Watch out for: Sadie Tuckwood
Although the Lady Kings went 1-3 against the Crimson Bears this season, their single win came in the game before regions. Kayhi can’t let senior Caitlin Pusich get going. In the games that Kayhi has lost to JD, Pusich has averaged 19 PPG, and in the game Kayhi won, Pusich was held to 5 points.
Thunder Mountain (8-14, 1-5) Last Region Title: none vs. Kayhi: 0-4 in conference, 0-6 including tournament games vs. other 4A teams 2-10 Key player: Nina Fenumia Watch out for: Charlee Lewis
Kayhi has owned Thunder Mountain for the past four seasons, going 22-0 against the Falcons. Their average margin of victory has been 18.1 PPG during the streak. The closest TMHS has came to beating Kayhi was six points and Kayhi’s largest margin of victory was 33 points.
The K-Highlites have been rated Superior consecutively since 2012 at the Region V tournament and are looking to further that streak. The dance team will compete in front of professional judges and will be given a rating from 0-100. Senior Captain Jacie Johansen explained how different dance competitions are compared to other sports. “We don’t really win, there is no 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place,” said Johansen. “Each team is judged and will receive a rating out of 100 and each team has the opportunity to win the same ranking.” The team will be judged on their theme, costumes, facial expressions, and the overall presentation of the routine. Senior Officer Molly O’Brien is going into the competition with a sense of reality that the judges can be a little biased and they can’t control everything. “It’s always a gamble with the judges because you never know who you will get” said O’Brien. “Sometimes they love us and sometimes they give us lower scores simply because they don’t like what we are wearing. Usually they are pretty fair and reasonable but you have to rely on your team to be ready and execute and I think we are prepared for whoever comes”. The K-Highlites have been practicing for 10 hours a week perfecting the region routine. Senior Captain Alyssa Mendoza spoke on how they have been preparing for the region competition. “We do our regions routine multiple times a week and work on every little detail such as positioning, formation, and facial expressions” said Mendoza. “We got our routine back in the beginning of January and have been working on making it our own with our certain skill sets we have individually”. The region routine is very different and complex compared to what the K-Highlites perform during halftime at the basketball games. The halftime routines are only 1.5-2 minutes long while the region routine is up to 6.5 minutes of continuous dancing. The region routine will contain different styles of dancing mixed together with costume changes and props. Head Coach Alma Parker is feeling very confident and excited for the region routine. “I feel we have a strong routine that also pulls in a lot of various strengths we have such as tumbling and hip hop tricks. We have visuals and an array of props that help bring the routine all together” said Parker. “Our theme for the routine is especially meaningful to us this season so we are putting a lot of heart into it”.
Region V Ratings Superior:90-100 Excellent:80-89 Good:70-79 Comments:Below 70
My Dad’s name is Dave. But Dave isn’t Dad at practice. My dad has been my coach for as long as I can remember. Our journey started when I was about six or seven years old. I decided I wanted to play basketball with my cousins, so we signed up for Ketchikan Dribblers League. Dave decided he wanted to be our coach and there it began, the start of an eleven year experience that I will never forget. We tried other sports as well, including softball, which he also coached, for about three years. Nothing was ever as fun as basketball. It was something that my dad and I could wake up on Saturday morning at nine, go to the Rec Center at ten, and spend an hour practicing together. He did things for me that I never really noticed or thought about much until now – shoe shopping, meetings, paperwork he had to do for the team, rides he had to give the other girls, and many more. He always gave me the best opportunities. I always had rides, even to early morning basketball with John Brown. On the drive home from practice last month, after partially dislocating my shoulder, we started talking about my basketball career. He revealed to me that he never expected to see me make something out of myself in this sport. He explained that all those mornings he drove me, he never expected his “lanky, awkward, uncoordinated daughter” to ever make it to the high school varsity practice, let alone get any playing time. He told me that he expected this all to end in disappointment for me. That he was just hoping to spend time with me and make the most of it. He then told me that he was proud of me for finding a way to stay in it and be successful. At first I wasn’t thrilled about being called awkward and uncoordinated, then I processed the rest of what he said. We have both realized that this experience, although long and sometimes very frustrating, is one that we would never change. All of the hardships and disappointments I have faced in this sport, are ones that would be much harder without his advice. Though not always wanted, his input is always something I’ve needed. I would not have the relationship I have with my dad today if we were not forced to spend so much time together. The majority of our varsity squad has been coached by Dave, and in his last year with the program, they are very sad to say the least. There is something to be said about a man who was never very good at basketball, but could help turn so many girls into the people they are today, just by being supportive, open minded, and caring. I am very thankful that I had the chance to be coached by Dave Smith.
The worst news I had ever heard came from a radiologist, and now thats what I want to be. Going into the medical field is such a great thing, and everyone is always so proud when you say you want to be in that field. But what they don’t understand, and don’t think of, is the hard part of it. Going to work everyday, doctors and nurses and even radiologists not only have the ability to save someone’s life and to make it better, but also can destroy it in just a few words. And that’s the part that no one takes into consideration. It’s all about saving lifes, but no one sees what happens behind the scenes. My perception on the medical field has changed. Growing up, and until the beginning of this year, I thought that going in that direction was going to be fun, somewhat easy. I soon realized that some parts will be fun, and no part of it is going to be easy. Since I’ve been taking a CNA course, I’ve realized that it’s not all fun and games. I’ve been exposed to the worst parts of the medical field without even having to experience it myself. Driving home from practice, school, or even just going on a drive, I find my mind wandering off into unknown territory. I get burdened with the questions ‘why are we here on this earth?’ or ‘what comes after we take our last breath?’ All of us kids are trying to find out where we stand on this earth. So we’re left by ourselves as a human trying to figure out the most important things in life. Teachers are trying to tell me to do journalism and learn about the government, all while trying to keep up with my CNA work. In the meantime here I am thinking about dying, what happens afterwards and how I’ll cope with those questions in my chosen field. In a way, everyone has to deal with the potential worst part of a job. With being a Vet means dealing with sick animals, Police have the burden of dealing with bad guys and the possibility of being shot on site. Fisherman have the fish to worry about, and what’s going to happen if they don’t catch anything. I found that choosing a career is not about the job title, it’s the job description. But I’m a senior and I don’t want to think too much about that. I just want to sit here, eat my Pop Tart and think about cheer practice.
The Lady Kings (7-7) will travel to Anchorage this week to compete in the 21st annual Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout. Sixteen of the 19 4A teams in the state will be participating in the tournament. Kayhi tips off against the undefeated Soldotna Stars (14-0) today at 6:15, who won the Clarke Cochrane Tournament earlier this season. The Lady Kings are looking to build off of last weekend and learn from their mistakes, while playing some of the top competition in the state. “We did not expect to lose on Saturday [to Mt. Edgecumbe], but we learned a lot from it,” senior Emmie Smith said. “We are expecting to improve and learn a lot from this weekend.”
Round three of Lady Kings (6-6) vs. Lady Braves (3-7) is tonight in Sitka. Kayhi has already defeated MEHS twice this year. Senior Ashley Huffine said the teams is confident, but can’t take Mt. Edgecumbe lightly. “They have two girls who didn’t play when we played them at home,” said Huffine. “But I think we’ll be able to adjust pretty well.” In the previous two matchups the Lady Kings buried the Lady Braves with a barrage of 3-pointers and full-court pressure. The Lady Braves sat in a zone for most of the game. The weekend will also give players a feel for the venue. “I’m also excited to get a feel of the gym before we come in March for Regions,” said Huffine.