KETCHIKAN (KDN) — It’s official.

For the first time in nearly a month, the Ketchikan High School boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams will get to play games this weekend — thanks to Juneau-Douglas High School coming to town.

Yes, Kayhi’s rivals from the north are traveling to the First City for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday. The junior varsity teams will play, too. It will be the first time since Jan. 30 that Kayhi has played varsity basketball inside Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium — and the same can be said for the JV Kings, too.

The last time Kayhi varsity teams played — on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 — the Kings and Lady Kings swept Sitka High School.

The JV Lady Kings played their first games since Jan. 30 this week against Klawock High School.

Friday’s action will begin with the JV Kings locking up with the JV Crimson Bears at 2 p.m. The JV Lady Kings will follow at 3:45 p.m. on Friday.

The varsity Kings will start at 5:30 p.m., with the Lady Kings tipping off at 7:15 p.m.

Saturday’s game times

Game times for Saturday have bumped up, allowing Juneau-Douglas enough time to catch a flight back home.

The JV Lady Kings and JV Lady Crimson Bears will start Saturday’s action at 11:15 a.m., with the boys’ JV game following at 1 p.m.

The varsity Lady Kings will tipoff against Juneau-Douglas at 2:45 p.m., and the Kings and Crimson Bears will go head-to-head at 4:30 p.m.

As of presstime Thursday, it was not known whether the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium would be open to spectators.

Games to be broadcast

Both the boys’ and girls’ varsity games will be livestreamed at kgbsd.org/live on Friday and Saturday. The varsity games also will be on the radio, as well as KPU-TV.

Long time off

The gap in Kayhi basketball action in February has been related to the local risk levels for COVID-19.

The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center bumped the Community Risk Level to  ‘high’ on Feb. 4, which prompted the Ketchikan School District to move to its ‘medium’ risk level of operations. As such, Kayhi moved from 100% in-person learning to 50% in-school learning.

While that still allowed athletics to continue, without spectators, Kayhi had more than 20 days of practice without any games.

Games against Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain, Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe high schools were postponed earlier this month.

“(It’s) being up front with (those schools), and letting them know where our community level is, and communicating with the EOC, superintendent — those folks,” Kayhi Activities Director Cole Maxwell said earlier this month, “to get their input on where our community level is going to be, and then really letting (the schools) make their own decisions about traveling here.”

On Wednesday, the Ketchikan EOC reduced the Community Risk Level to Level 2 (Moderate). Ketchikan School District Acting Superintendent Katie Parrott told the Ketchikan School Board on Thursday that the district would not be able to return to its low risk level operations until Monday due to the time staff would need to spend preparing for the transition.

The capital city has remained at a low risk level. Juneau-Douglas has continued playing, having matchups against Sitka, Mt. Edgecumbe and Thunder Mountain high schools.

Kayhi traveled to Juneau earlier this year, playing both Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas. This will be the first time this season that a team from Juneau has traveled to Ketchikan.