Boys Basketball Chris Lee had a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds in the 55-39 loss to the Bears. Cooper Kreigmont and Brock McCormick combined for 22 points. The Kings will play Thursday at 1:15 p.m. against the loser of Wednesday’s Bears vs. Falcons.
Girls Basketball Janea Rhoads scored 12 points to lead the Lady Kings in a 41-21 victory over the Lady Falcons. Riley Traxler had 12 points to lead the Lady Falcons. The Lady Kings will face the Lady Bears tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.
The 6-time defending Region champion Lady Kings and defending state champ Kings will begin their Region V run tonight in Juneau.
The Kings will be going up against the Bears at 8:15 p.m. following the Lady Kings game against the Lady Falcons at 6:30 p.m.
Here’s a look at how the teams got here:
Boys Basketball The Kayhi boys (12-9, 4-4) are 2-2 against Thunder Mountain and 2-2 against Juneau-Douglas. TM is 4-0 against JD. The Kings haven’t won more than back to back region titles since the 1960s where they won 5 consecutive titles. The Bears have momentum going into their first game against Kayhi after winning both their games last weekend at home.
Varsity head coach Eric Stockhausen says winning regions will come down to doing the little things in a game. Stockhausen believes in his team and believes they have a shot at winning regions.
“We have a chance to do well, we’ve had an up and down year,” said Stockhausen. “We know we can compete with them, we just have to do the little things and find easy baskets. I have faith our kids will do the best they can.”
Know Your Opponent
Juneau Douglas (8-16,2-6) Last Region Title: 2018 Vs. Kayhi: 2-2 Vs. TM: 0-4 Seed: No. 3 Key Player: Cooper Kriegmont Watch out for: Brock McCormick
The Kings first two games against Juneau Douglas this season ended in a blow out. Kayhi needs to play both sides of the ball and be less predictable offensively. Kriegmont puts up a lot of points in every game. On the other hand, McCormick can be dangerous. We’ve seen in the games Kayhi has won he seems non-existent but in games they have lost he manages to lead his team and put up 19-25 points.
Thunder Mountain (15-6, 6-2) Last Region Title: 2014 Vs. Kayhi: 2-2 Vs. JD: 4-0 Seed: No. 1 Key Player: Bryson Echiverri Watch out for: Brady Carandang
The majority of the Kings games against Thunder Mountain have been close except for their first game where Kayhi won by 25 points. Every game after that has been a 5 point or less loss or win. Staying active is key, the Falcon’s defense is really strong and fast. Finding shots outside and creating inside shots will be important for the Kings. Shutting down Echiverri will slow down the Falcons down as he is strong and fast and has a good shot outside the key.
Girls Basketball Unlike the Kings the Lady Kings (13-9, 4-4) are the underdogs going 1-3 against Juneau Douglas in the regular season. It isn’t the first time this has happened. Kayhi is just 5-12 against JD in the regular season in their last 19 games, but 6-0 in the postseason dating back to the last time Juneau hosted the Region Championships. This season the Lady Kings got their first win over the Lady Bears on senior night.
Know your Opponent
Juneau Douglas (18-3, 7-1) Last Region Title: 2012 Vs. Kayhi: 3-1 Vs. TM: 4-0 Seed: No. 1 Key Player: Kendyl Carson Watch out for: Kiana Potter
Stopping Carson from scoring is unrealistic but playing tough defense on Sadie Tuckwood and Kiana Potter will slow down JD’s game tremendously. Tuckwood and Potter combined for 44 points this past weekend. Keeping other players from scoring double digits is critical for Kayhi. The Lady Kings have to to prevent someone like Trinity Jackson, who scored 10 points on Friday in the Lady Kings 41-38 loss, in order to be successful.
Thunder Mountain (3-11, 1-7) Last Region Title: None Vs. Kayhi: 1-3 Vs JD: 0-4 Seed: No. 3 Key Player: Avery Kreischer Watch out for: Riley Traxler
Kayhi has dominated TM the past four seasons up until this year. Kayhi was on a 24 game winning streak until their 48-44 loss to the Falcons. The average margin of victory this year is only 5.25 PPG compared to last year’s 11.16 PPG. Kayhi has a tendency to get dragged down when playing TM. Keeping their head in the game, and playing all the way through will let them stay ahead all the way through the tournament.
No year is the same for Pep Band, but there are things that freshmen need to know in order to survive Regions according to seniors. Senior saxophone player Josh Nutt said that freshman should be ready to play.
“I would tell them to be ready to play their brains out,” said Nutt. “No matter if it sounds good or bad. Generally whenever you’re at Regions, I think the point is to have pride in your school without being aggressive toward your own classmates and make it a good trip for everyone.”
Freshmen should be prepared to play a lot, but it’s not always about being loud and holding an instrument. Senior Pep Band Co-Director and saxophone player Jalina Williams said that it is really important for freshman to use Regions as a way to get out of their comfort zone.
“They shouldn’t be scared to go out of their comfort zone,” said Williams. “Stay within your boundaries but you should expand out and play with other bands, make new friends. Regions is a very welcoming place for everyone. I remember my freshman year was like that. I felt very welcomed and made a lot of friends that year.”
On the other side of the spectrum, the freshman or newcomers to regions, could be pretty eager not only to play but also to be able to travel for a trip where you’re not doing clinics all day and performing for an intended audience. Sophomore Matthew Nutt will be attending his first regions this year, and said that he expects a lot of fun going around town and meeting new people.
“My expectations are mainly walking around the town and having fun,” said Nutt. “Then later we go home, get dressed and then go play for the games.”
Although Matthew Nutt isn’t completely wrong, he will soon realise that the games completely encapsulate the entire trip. Nutt said that compared to the games at home, the regional games will be more intense.
“I think they’re going to be a great deal more intense,” said Nutt. “It’s much more serious and there are going to be more people especially.”
One of the biggest pep experiences from regions is the fact that they get to play with other bands and make friends that they will remember forever. Nutt said that he is excited to play with more people playing the peppy music.
“I am excited for that because I know that both honor band and all-state were very fun,” said Nutt. “Playing with people from other schools is fun but in pep band we get to play fun music which should be even more fun.”
It is said that captains are supposed to be the coach on the floor, or the mediators who bring it all together.
Senior Nadire Zhuta said it is a big responsibility.
“In basketball I feel like I have a great responsibility to the team,” said Zhuta. “I have to make sure everyone does their role and make sure that they have the right tools to get that done.”
Zhuta has played basketball for the Lady Kings all four years. She is a captain along with her fellow senior teammates Madison Rose and Lianna Guevarra. Zhuta said she learned how to be a leader by following the example set by others like Hannah Maxwell (class of 2018) when she was younger. “She always put the team before herself and she always played 100% to the best of her ability,” said Zhuta. “Hannah is someone I always think about when I think of a leader.”
How do you lead? One of the big questions that comes up in basketball is what ideals do you follow? Do actions speak louder than words? For Kristain Pihl your actions are the most important.
“Captains don’t have to be the most skillful player on the team, but there must be a high level of skill there,” said Pihl. “Giving the players someone to look up to and inspire to be is important, also giving everyone a level of comfortability is key. No one likes to bark orders at others and I think the best way to make everyone work together is to help them respect and want to play for each other.”
Who comes first, the team or the coach? As a captain there’s a relationship that is made between you and the players. It’s important to be someone the players want to play for and respect. The other side is the coach. The coach puts you in place to connect the team and lead on another level that they can’t connect with the players at. As a captain are you looking to satisfy the coach or the players. For Madison Rose building trust is the key to a functioning team.
“Having trust is the key to teamwork. Without a level of trust the team would fall apart and it’d be a mess,” said Rose. “Connecting with the players is very important to me.”
Rose also said that being the bridge from players to coach builds a better connection.
“The coach chose us to lead for a reason. He trusts us and sees the players follow something in us,” said Rose. “Respecting the coach and relaying the opinion of the team is key.”
Why do we choose leaders? Sports analysts say that captains are chosen based on skill, motivation, and responsibility. Boys basketball coach Eric Stockhausen said that he chooses captains based on the same characteristics.
“I choose captain because I see the team look up to them,” said Stockhausen. “They inspire and motivate the team with their skill and actions and they all recognize the responsibility and impact they have.”
Last postseason was big for clutch moments, especially 3-pointers late in games. But not all the big moments have come on the basketball court.
#1 Shaelyn Mendoza buzzer-beater
The situation 2019 Region Championship Juneau Douglas 51 Kayhi 49 4.7 seconds left.
The moment The No. 2 seeded Lady Kings beat Thunder Mountain on the first day of the tournament to set up a match with the Lady Bears. Kayhi was just 1-3 against JD during the regular season and was trying to pull the upset.
Madison Rose inbounded the ball to Ashley Huffine. Huffine went coast to coast then kicked it out to freshman Shaelyn Mendoza. Mendoza sank the corner 3 to send the Lady Kings to the championship.
#2 Kristian Pihl 3 in overtime
The situation State Championship Dimond 50 Kayhi 50 46 seconds left in overtime
The moment Junior Kristian Pihl was one of Kayhi’s offensive threats and was 0-6 from the 3 point line. Pihl drained a three with 46 seconds left to go in overtime and it ended up being his only points of the game. It changed the momentum of the game and Kayhi won 57-53.
#3 Payton Simmons walk off at state
The situation 2018 State Tournament Semi-Finals Thunder Mountain 6 Kayhi 5 7th inning 2 outs 0-2 count
The moment Kayhi beat Homer the first day of the state tournament, then played North Pole on day two and won. Kayhi played Thunder Mountain on day three of the tournament in the semi finals. Kayhi was 1-3 against Thunder Mountain in conference play. Bottom of the seventh and Junior Payton Simmons took the first two strikes looking with the game on the line. Simmons sent the next pitch over the left field fence putting the kings up one to win the game.
Other Clutch Moments
Sully Schulz regions
The situation Region Wrestling Tournament Region Finals Match Ketchikan vs. Juneau for the Region V Title If Schulz gets pinned, the streak likely ends.
The moment Senior Sully Schulz was seeded No. 1 in the 171 weight class. Schulz was (0-7) against Juneau wrestlers. A reversal by Schulz with 30 seconds left puts him ahead and his opponent on his back. He then pinned him in the first period with 7 seconds left which allowed Kayhi to win its 12th consecutive region title and ending his losing streak against Juneau wrestlers.
Mark Jasper penalty kick at state
The situation State 3rd place championship Kayhi 5 Thunder Mountain 4 Penalty kick shootout
The moment Senior Mark Jasper approaches the line to take his shot. A miss by Jasper puts Thunder Mountain in a good spot to tie the game. A goal will win it for the Kings. Jasper approaches the ball points his toe down and sinks it in the bottom left corner of the net.
It is no surprise that Kayhi students and the Ketchikan community would rather have the Region V Tournament at home but when it is not at home a majority of the students prefer to have the tournament in Sitka over Juneau. Maybe it’s the rivalry, maybe it’s the convenience.
“Everything is so close,” said Pep Band member Jalina Williams. “You can just walk over the bridge and you’re downtown. Everything is there, so it is easy access.”
According to Google Maps, Juneau-Douglas High School is 7.3 miles from the Breeze In Valley location which is one of the premier food destinations for traveling students, whereas Mt. Edgecombe High School is just 1.2 miles from downtown. Even if the weather is good, there’s no chance you’re walking 7.3 miles from the high school to the valley in Juneau.
Safeway, The Landing, My Place Hotel and A&P are all within a mile of Kayhi.
In addition to the games themselves, other difficulties arise when the Region Tournament is hosted in Sitka or Juneau. When the dance team has its adjudications at Thunder Mountain, supporters have to travel 8.7 miles from the JD gym to support their classmates. In Sitka, it’s a 2-mile trip.
For the Pep Band, Pep Club and Cheerleaders different gyms mean different sound waves. Williams said depending on the gym space and height, how the sound travels to people is different.
“It’s louder in Edgecumbe because it is a way bigger space and it’s a echo gym,” said Williams. “Then with JD it is loud as well but it is more constricting in a sense because everyone is on the balcony and the sound just travels differently to people.”
Junior Tyler Slick said every gym has different floors and lighting.
“Our floor is clean and our lighting is very bright and nice,” said Slick. “Edgecumbes’ floor is nice and clean but their lighting isn’t very bright it’s dim and the Juneau floor is really slippery and the lighting is very dim and yellowish.”
Senior Kristian Pihl has been to all three locations and said that Ketchikan has the best environment and that Kayhi students and Ketchikan members make it exciting and fun but if he had to choose between Edgecumbe and Juneau he would have to choose Edgecumbe because “it’s a neutral environment.”
“Ketchikan has a better environment because we just put more time and money into basketball as a community,” said Pihl. “The community and students like to watch basketball and just create an environment that’s so much fun to play in.”