Three Region championships ago, Emmie Smith and Payton Simmons were freshmen on JV, Ashley Huffine was enrolled at Klawock High School, and Nora Agoney wasn’t even playing basketball.
This Saturday will be their final game at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
“It’s bittersweet, we’re getting close to the end,” said Smith. “I’m very grateful for everything that has happened and the memories that I have made.”
Head coach Kelly Smith has coached the girls throughout each of their Kayhi basketball careers.
“These girls have worked hard in practice and in games. They represent well on the road and in the community,” said Smith. “Those traits carry on a strong Lady King tradition. I am proud of them for helping to keep those things alive in our program.”
The Lady Kings (8-10) will look to extend their 20-game win streak against Thunder Mountain. Kayhi has already beat the Falcons four times this season. Varsity will play at 7:15 in the Clarke Cochrane Gym.
On Friday night, the Lady Kings will be holding their annual “Pink Night” to promote breast cancer awareness. When Kayhi takes the court they will be wearing their all pink uniforms.
“It’s something great we do every year” said senior Emmie Smith. “It is a really fun game and it is a good feeling seeing all the people who come out to support our team and a good cause.”
There will be pink long sleeve and T-shirts for sale during the game, or they can be bought from any Lady Kings player.
All proceeds go to the First City Council on Cancer.
Before Friday nights game, the Kayhi Pep Band seniors will be recognized as well.
On Saturday night when Kayhi takes on the Falcons again, Kayhi Dance and Cheer teams will all be wearing 1 Billion Rising Revolution shirts to support the movement.
The 1 Billion Rising Revolution is a movement that was started in 2012 to end violence against women. The event is held in February each year.
Prior to the game on Saturday, the Lady Kings seniors will be recognized.
Lady King seniors:
Pep Band seniors:
John Luke Calderon
Tarrant Sasser contributed
It’s crunch time.
Kayhi (12-8) will play Mt. Edgecumbe (4-10) this weekend to secure the number one seed in the region.
Junior Kristian Pihl said that the Kings cannot overlook the Braves.
“We can’t underestimate them,” said Pihl. “They are only 3a, but they still have a strong team. We can try some of our strategies, but we need to keep it locked in on defense.”
Key to the game:
Focus, this weekends games don’t count toward seeding in the region tournament or state tournament. Kayhi can still use these games to clean up any bad habits, though, like their trend of losing the first game of all their away trips.
Regions is also being held at Edgecumbe this year, and playing on their court can give Kayhi an advantage over Juneau Douglas and Thunder Mountain.
Senior Cody Kemble explains the advantage and importance of these games. “First of all we need to end the streak, it’s about time we win the first game on an away trip,” Kemble said. “This isn’t just a normal game though we get to play on the same court as regions and we get to practice some of our new strategies we’ll use against Thunder Mountain and JD at regions.”
The trend continues.
Kayhi (12-8, 4-2) lost the first game of a road trip for the 4th time in a row this season. The Kings did earn a split with Thunder Mountain after winning Saturday 64-51. The win gave Kayhi sole position of first place in the conference.
“Our first road trip against JD it was more heart for the reason we lost,” said senior Cody Kemble. “This time we just did not play very good defense and not very good basketball to begin with.”
Kayhi had a two point lead at the end of the half, then TM rallied and took a 43-40 lead at the end of the third. Kayhi closed the gap but never lead again and eventually lost, 62-55.
After three losses, two of which featured lost leads, the Lady Kings (8-10, 2-2) had watched a 31-10 lead over Thunder Mountain be cut to 6. Then Nadire Zhuta iced the game with a jumper with 1:32 and Kayhi prevailed 35-27.
The win brought Kayhi’s streak against the Falcons to 20 games and snapped a 4-game losing streak.
“It felt good to play together,” senior Ashley Huffine said. “It leaves a better taste from the trip that we get to go home on a win.”
Huffine said the streak doesn’t impact how the team prepares.
“I don’t really think about it too much, it’s just another game against the Falcons,” Huffine said. “They can be dangerous, so we can’t take them lightly.”
The Falcons gave Juneau-Douglas its only conference loss (40-36) on Feb. 1.
The Kayhi Lady Kings lost 49-45 to the Kenai Kardinals in their 2nd game of the Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout in Anchorage.
The Lady Kings were lead on offense by Lianne Guevarra, who scored 20 points with 16 of them coming in the second half.
Kayhi- Lianne Guevarra 20, Ashley Huffine 9, Emmie Smith 6, Nadire Zhuta 6, Madison Rose 4.
Kenai- Brooke Salathite 19, Jaycie Calvert 12, Logan Salathite 5, Hayley Maw 4, Jaiden Streiff 4, Kailey Hamilton 3, Elizabeth Hanson 2.
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.”
On Friday night, junior Chris Lee became the 10th Kayhi member to reach the 1000-point club in a 94-54 rout of rival Juneau-Douglas.
“It feels great to accomplish something like that but not only for me, but all my teammates that have helped me from freshman year to now,” said Lee. “It was nice to get back on track and get back to playing our brand of basketball, especially against a team we usually see during regions.”
Chris (29) and his brother Marcus (27) combined to outscore the entire Crimson Bears entire offense on Friday night.
Saturday was more of the same as the Kings (11-7, 3-1) cruised to an 85-65 victory.
Friday Scoring: Marcus Lee 29, Chris Lee 27, ER Caparas 8, Cody Kemble 5, Robert Hilton-Seludo 5, Jake Taylor 4, Wyatt Barajas 4, Kristian Pihl 3, Arthur Williams 3, Gavin Salazar 2, James Nordlund 2, Josh Gentry 2.
Saturday Scoring: Chris Lee 24, Marcus Lee 15, Cody Kemble 10, Kristian Pihl 9, Robert Hilton-Seludo 7, Jake Taylor 6, Wyatt Barajas 6, Kyle Smith 5, ER Caparas 3.