With just a little more than two minutes left on the clock in the Region V 4A girls’ championship on Friday, Ketchikan High School Kelly Smith called for a full timeout.
But it wasn’t to draw up a play.
Down 44-21, Smith wanted to make sure his Lady Kings had the right mindset.
“I know you’re sad, I know you’re frustrated,” he told his team. “… Finish strong.”
Up until that point, not much in the regional championship game had gone the Lady Kings’ way, as Juneau-Douglas High School eventually won 50-26.
But finishing the season with their best foot forward was what Smith was asking for. And for two minutes and 20 seconds, the Lady Kings did just that.
Ketchikan still competed. Senior Madison Rose swished a 3-pointer exactly one minute later and exactly one minute after that — with 20 seconds left on the clock — Rose knocked down another bucket.
Rose also scored the Lady Kings’ first field goal of the game, bookending her final contest in a Lady Kings’ uniform with points on the board.
Rose, along with senior teammates Lianne Guevarra and Nadire Zhuta, will graduate this spring. She finished the game with 11 points and six rebounds.
Rose was responsible for six of the Lady Kings’ first 10 points. Ketchikan sophomore Jenae Rhoads also hit a bucket, and Guevarra nailed a pair of free throws, as the Lady Kings jumped out to a 10-7 lead after the first quarter of the title game in the capital city.
But after that — it was all red and white. And a maroon jersey didn’t score again until the start of the third quarter.
Ketchikan’s offense went cold for nine and a half minutes, including the entire eight-minute second quarter.
As shot after shot by the Lady Kings bounced out of the hoop in the second frame, Juneau-Douglas seniors Kendyl Carson and Sadie Tuckwood began to take the game over, as the duo combined for 13 of the Crimson Bears’ 15 points in the quarter. And Juneau-Douglas never looked back.
The Crimson Bears carried a 22-10 lead into the half en route to their win. Carson finished the game with 24 points. Tuckwood had 11.
Ketchikan sophomore Shaelyn Mendoza scored all eight of her points after the break. She hit the Ketchikan’s only other 3-pointer.
Following this season, the Lady Kings will return the majority of their roster. The same group will stay together for a couple seasons, as no one is listed as a member of the Class of 2021.
Ketchikan: Madison Rose 11, Shaelyn Mendoza 8, Jenae Rhoads 4, Lianne Guevarra 3.
Juneau-Douglas: Kendyl Carson 24, Sadie Tuckwood 11, Kiana Potter 10, Ashley Laudert 2, Trinity Jackson 2, Skyler Tuckwood 1.
*Names and stats courtesy of the official scorebook.