Basketball teams travel far and wide this week

TMHS teams to Fairbanks, JDHS teams to Anchorage, Ketchikan

Thunder Mountain’s Vaipuna Toutaiolepo dives for a loose ball against Juneau-Douglas’ Cooper Kriegmont during their game at TMHS on Friday, Jan. 5, 2017. TMHS won 50-45. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Last weekend, they shared the same court. This week, they’ll be playing nearly 1,000 miles apart.


The Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas girls basketball teams are on the road this week, the latter closer to home than the former.

The TMHS girls ship up to Fairbanks for the Joe T. Classic basketball tournament, while JDHS heads south to Ketchikan.

TMHS plays West Valley High School today at 6 p.m before starting the tournament Thursday at Lathrop High School.

The Lady Falcons (2-5, 0-2 SEC) play Lathrop on Thursday (6 p.m.), Colony on Friday (3 p.m.) and Monroe Catholic on Saturday (3 p.m.).

Meanwhile, the Crimson Bears (3-6, 2-0 SEC) play in their third and fourth consecutive conference games on Friday and Saturday against Ketchikan (8-5, 0-0 SEC). Both games begin at 7:15 p.m. at the Clark Cochrane Gymnasium at Ketchikan High School.

The Lady Kings split their series against Colony over the weekend, winning by six points on Friday before losing on Saturday by four.

JDHS beat TMHS by 20 points Friday but only two Saturday. The close Saturday result was the second time this season the Crimson Bears won or lost a game by two points in overtime. At the Tarkanian Classic basketball tournament last month, Legacy High School upended JDHS 73-71 in overtime.

The TMHS boys team is also in the Joe T. Classic, with games slated against the Malamutes (Lathrop), Knights (Colony) and Rams (Monroe Catholic). The Falcons (5-3, 2-0 SEC) play the teams in that order at 8 p.m. Thursday, 4:40 p.m. Friday and 4:40 p.m. Saturday at Lathrop.

Sophomore Brady Carandang is the current leading scorer for TMHS, averaging 12 points per game.

TMHS gets a jump on the tournament with a 7:30 p.m. game today against West Valley.

The JDHS boys play in the Alaska Prep Shootout with seven other teams, including three other Class 4A squads: Dimond, Chugiak and Soldotna.

The JDHS boys (5-3, 0-2 SEC) lost back-to-back games against TMHS this weekend.

“Our mood is upbeat and focused,” JDHS head coach Robert Casperson said via text. “After this past weekend vs. TM, we learned that we have a lot of work ahead of us if we are going to reach our goals. This tourney will provide us with another chance to measure our progress towards those goals. I don’t believe that there is anyone in the tourney we can look past.”

The Crimson Bears face Barrow at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round. According to, Dimond is the only remaining undefeated team of three 4A schools participating.

Follow @AKEmpireSports on Twitter for updates on this week’s games.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or


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