Daily Sitka Sentinel
The first 3A game is Wednesday at 8 a.m.
The boys and girls teams from Juneau-Douglas will enter the 4A tournament as the favorites. Both teams from JDHS won the regular season conference title and earned a first-round bye.
The JDHS boys were 8-0 in conference play with four wins each over Thunder Mountain and Kayhi. The 4A tournament, like its 3A counterpart, is double elimination, but only the winner will make state. Juneau will take on the winner of tonight’s game between Thunder Mountain and Kayhi at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Lance Ibesate and Tony Yadao are a solid backcourt tandem for JDHS. The Crimson Bears also have some talent and size on the wing with Phillip Fenumiai and Alex Colloway and inside with Evan Gross and Taylor Swofford. The Crimson Bears were 17-5 overall in the regular season.
Kayhi went 3-5 in the conference and 10-12 overall, while Thunder Mountain was 1-7 in Southeast and 6-17 overall. The Falcons’ lone conference win came over Kayhi.
Both Sitka High and Mt. Edgecumbe played Thunder Mountain this season. The Wolves beat the Falcons twice while the Braves split a weekend pair with TMHS on Japonski Island. The Braves also got an impressive road win over JDHS.
The Crimson Bears have won the last six Region V titles. If Juneau wraps up the 4A title Friday, there will be a traditional crossover game Saturday night. Last year, the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves beat JDHS 44-42 to claim the overall Southeast title.
The story is fairly similar in the 4A girls tournament, with JDHS favored to win the Southeast title this week. The Crimson Bears, after getting upset by Wasilla in the 2011 state championship game, went 13-10 overall and 7-1 in Southeast play this season. Kayhi was 14-9 with a 5-3 conference record and Thunder Mountain was 0-8 and 3-19.
The lone loss for JDHS came at the hands of the Lady Kings and the Lady Crimson Bears also won a triple overtime game against Kayhi.
The Lady Kings, playing at home, could have a shot at an upset this week.
Kayhi last won a Region V title in 2009. JDHS has won the last two Southeast crowns and nine of the last 10. The JDHS girls won the state title in 2010, part of a banner year for Southeast teams. The Mt. Edgecumbe girls and Haines boys took the 3A crowns that year, with the Skagway girls winning the 2A title.
The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves played Thunder Mountain three times this season and won two of those games. The Lady Wolves beat Kayhi 57-41 at the Holland America tournament in December and lost 39-35 to Juneau-Douglas during a stop in the capital on their way to Haines for conference games.
Thunder Mountain and Kayhi will play tonight, with the winner taking on JDHS at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. There will be a 3A/4A crossover game Saturday night if JDHS came clinch the 4A title with two straight wins. The Crimson Bears easily handled Craig in the girls crossover game last season.