Juneau’s two schools each took home a few pieces of net following championship games Friday night in the Region V Tournament in Sitka.
The Juneau-Douglas Lady Crimson Bears won the 4A title in the girls’ side of the tournament; the Thunder Mountain Falcons won in the boys side.
The top-seeded Lady Crimson Bears received a first-round bye, and then went undefeated for the rest of the tournament, beating the Thunder Mountain Lady Falcons 61-54 in the final Friday afternoon.
The Lady Crimson bears played steady basketball through all four periods, and stayed out of foul trouble.
Three Juneau players were in double-digit scoring. Senior Marissa Brakes led with 15 points — all the hard way. Brakes sank two three-pointers, and did the rest of the damage from the free-throw line.
Juniors Ari Gross and Kaitlin Fagerstorm had 12 and 11 points respectively.
The Lady Falcons pushed hard to close the gap in the game — outscoring Juneau 22-20 in the fourth period. Senior Jonelle Staveland had another stellar performance with 22 points, including 4 from the three-point line. Freshman Ava Tompkins scored 10.
Because reclassification left only three teams in 4A, there will be no second place berth at the state tournament in Anchorage this year. Juneau-Douglas will be the sole 4A team in the girls tournament.
On the boys’ side, Thunder Mountain will represent the region in Anchorage, defeating rivals Juneau-Douglas 56-52.
With an eight-point lead at halftime, it looked like Juneau had finally decoded the Falcon defense, which has been troublesome all season long.
But Thunder Mountain regrouped in the locker room and set up an offense around the three-point line. The Falcons sank four three-pointers in the third period, along with three field goals.
Thunder Mountain had three players score ten or higher: Seniors Vili Tupou and Sam Jahn had 10 and 12 respectively, and junior Matt Seymour led Falcon scoring with 17.
Senior Ty Grussendorf had 9 points — all on three-point shots.
Juneau-Douglas senior Jeffrey Pusich led scoring for the Crimson Bears, with 15 points. He went 4 for 5 from the free-throw line. Senior Gary Speck scored 11. Fellow senior Phillip Fenumiai scored 8 points before heading to the bench with a sprained ankle early in the fourth period.
This year’s 4A Region V Basketball Tournament was played at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. The 2A and 3A tournaments were played at the same time.
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- The totem pole is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The carved art form showcases clan stories and family crests in museums around the world. After more than 30 years in the Anchorage Museum, a century-old pole from Southeast has made it back to Sitka, where curators are prepping a permanent home.
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- President Donald Trump’s budget outline calls for eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA has been a frequent target of Republicans, but U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports the endowment, and Tuesday she won the 2017 Congressional Arts Leadership Award.