The Kayhi Lady Kings will play the Thunder Mountain Falcons at home today and Saturday. Kayhi has beat the Falcons 14 times in a row with a win average of 23.5 points, but the steadily improving Falcons will pose a threat to Kayhi. Earlier this month in the second meeting between the two teams, Thunder Mountain held Kayhi to 5 first quarter points and lead 12-5 before Kayhi opened up a lead with a 17-2 run. Still, the Falcons would not go away and Kayhi needed a 17-3 run in the second half to secure the win after TM pulled to within 2. Friday’s game will be the annual Pink Night, to support breast cancer awareness. Saturday night is Senior Night and the last regular-season games for Brittany Slick and Hannah Maxwell. Two wins will give the Lady Kings the No. 1 seed at the Region V tournament next month. Senior Brittany Slick has many emotions knowing that it will be her last regular season game for Kayhi ever. “It’s exciting but also sad,” said Slick. “ It will be the end to a sport that’s been a huge part of my life, but ending it on my home floor with my team is really exciting. It is also a huge moment of gratitude realizing how many people helped me to get to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without my team, family, and coaches. Senior Captain Hannah Maxwell is very sad knowing that her high school career is coming to an end. “I’m definitely going to cry,” said Maxwell. “Basketball has been a part of my life since I could walk, and now it almost over. This weekend will be one to remember.”
Junior Marcus Lee scored his 1000th point in an 81-69 win over Juneau Douglas. Lee was the Kings high scorer with 35 points followed by Chris Lee with 12. Kayhi will now play the second half of a 4-game road trip. The Kings will play Thunder Mountain tonight and tomorrow. Kayhi split in their previous games, Kings winning the first game 54-48 and losing the second 77-67. Kayhi (3-3) is one game behind Thunder Mountain (4-2) in the race for the top seed in the Region V tournament. Thunder Mountain is No. 10 in the WPI rankings released on Wednesday. Kayhi is sitting at No. 9, followed by Juneau at No. 13.
Kayhi boys (10-8, 2-2) will take on Juneau Douglas (9-12, 2-4) tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. The Kings will battle Thunder Mountain (12-9, 4-2) Friday and Saturday to close out the regular season. The Kings have split the series with each Juneau team this season. Kayhi defeated Thunder Mountain 54-48 on Feb. 9 then lost 77-67 Feb. 10. The following weekend the Kings won the first game 69-64 over the Bears and lost the second game 54-46. Thunder Mountain is currently in first place for the region, but it’s still out for the taking. “Last year we played 8 games in 10 days, so the back to back games aren’t new to us,” said Junior Marcus Lee. “These conference games are very important to win for our seeding.”
The Kayhi Lady Kings (12-9) were swept in two big rivalry games at Juneau Douglas Bears (6-16) 41-35 Friday and 50-40 Saturday. The losses drop the Lady Kings into a tie for first in the region. Kayhi has the tie-breaker over JD thanks to two home wins by larger margins. Both games were marked by large first half runs by the Bears. On Friday it was a 12-2 first half run that gave the Bears a 17-11 halftime lead. Saturday it was a 14-5 run that gave JD a 21-16 lead. Sophomore Nadire Zhuta kept Kayhi close hitting three of Kayhi’s four 3-pointers in the second quarter. The Lady Kings trailed by as many as 8, but cut it to 4 with 4:12 left, however a turnover killed the rally. JD scored the next 4 points and put the game away. Kayhi was outscored in transition both nights, 15-2 and 10-4.
The Kings split with Juneau Douglas last weekend. Friday night Sophomore Chris Lee led Kayhi with 25 points to victory 69-64. Saturday the Kings trailed the Bears from the start and fell 54-46. Senior Marcus Lee led Kayhi with 18.
The Lady Kings (12-7, 4-0) will be traveling to Juneau to take on the Juneau Douglas Bears (4-6, 2-2) in their last road games of the regular season. Kayhi has beaten Juneau twice already this year by an average win margin of 14 points. The Crimson Bears are led by senior center Cassie Dzinich who has averaged 16 points per game in wins on the season and scored 40 points in two games at Sitka last weekend. The Lady Kings will also have to keep junior Caitlin Pusich in check. She scored 25 points in a 75-62 loss to Kayhi on Jan. 12. Junior Payton Simmons said that the team is looking to maintain some momentum before the Region and State tournaments. “We’ve been preparing all week for JD and some of their players,” said Simmons. “Cassie is strong down on the post, she boxes out well, and gets a lot of boards. Juneau as a team has been getting better and we have to be ready to do the little things to be successful. These are our last games on the road before regionals and as a team we need to focus on one game at a time and keep up our energy going into regions.”
The Kayhi Kings basketball team is facing off against their conference rivals the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears this weekend at home. Both nights, C-team will play at 4:45, JV at 6:00, and Varsity at 7:15. Going into this weekend having not played Juneau, Kayhi is looking to bring the same, if not more, intensity that they brought to the Kayhi-Thunder Mountain matchup last weekend. Kayhi junior Cody Kemble said the team will bring more energy to the court this weekend. “I thought last week the team lacked intensity in the first half,” said Kemble. “We have definitely been working on bringing it for the whole 32 minutes every game.” Kemble also said that the crowd is a big help during games like these. “It really helps when the crowd gets into it,” said Kemble. “It gets us in a groove, and especially helps during these critical conference matchups.”