Trailing by one point entering the fourth quarter of the first game in the 2011-12 season on Friday night, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team needed to make a statement that they were still going to be the class of the southeastern conference.
A barrage of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter triggered a 20-4 Crimson Bears run that turned a tense game into a big 69-55 win over Ketchikan on Friday at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
“Definitely it was great to hit some shots,” JDHS head coach Robert Casperson said. “But we put some pressure on their defense that created those shots with dribble penetration. Lance (Ibesate) was able to get into the paint quite a bit.”
With the score tied 43-43 early in the fourth, Ibesate penetrated multiple times and was either fouled, made a layup or kicked out to teammates for open jump shots.
JDHS’ Austin Shoemaker, playing in his first varsity game, drained an open look from outside to start the run. Ibesate added his own triple, and Tony Yadao drained two more clean looks from outside to finish off the scoring streak by the Crimson Bears senior guards. Juneau scored 20 points in four minutes to break the game open.
“We started to get guys open. We started taking higher percentage shots,” Yadao said. “We worked the ball around more and were getting open.”
Ketchikan coach Eric Stockhausen said the focus of the Kings was to stop penetration and then close out on the outside shooters.
JDHS coach Robert Casperson stated point guard Ibesate was instrumental in the comeback and the attitude of the Crimson Bears was always up beat.
“Our guys are buying in to playing the type of basketball that the community will enjoy watching,” Casperson said. “We had instances where guys were taking charges.
Six-foot-seven, 220 pound Evan Gross keyed the momentum swing late in the third quarter by taking a charge in the lane.
“All four of his teammates ran over to pick him up,” Casperson said. “All four. It was awesome. The game was still tough and back and forth at the time.”
Casperson also mentioned the Crimson Bears’ unselfishness, especially on the receiving end of assists.
“We have been working a lot in practice on thanking the passer,” Casperson said. “And the screener. When Tony buried that three in the fourth quarter on a kick out from Lance you could here him yelling and complimenting Lance for that pass. That is stuff that is important if we are going to continue to build and do the things we want to do this year. To see that in the first game is encouraging.”
Continued Casperson, “Ketchikan is a tough place to play. It certainly is a big win. It’s the opener, but I don’t want to downplay it too much, because these are conference games.”
Added Yadao, “Most of us have been playing together since fifth grade and I think that will help us a lot this year.”
Despite numerous turnovers, foul trouble, and horrendous shooting from the foul line, the Kings kept battling back from deficits in the first three quarters. The Kings took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter on Frank Seludo’s 3-point basket, but then were overwhelmed by Juneau’s outside shooting in the fourth.
Juneau-Douglas had four players in double figures, led by Ibesate, who scored 20 points. Yadao added 16, Alex Calloway 13, and Shoemaker 11. Gross added four points, Jeffrey Pusich and Gary Speck two each, and Darien Stanger one.
Kyle Day led the Kings with 18 points, sparking several key runs in the first three quarters with strong drives to the basket. Day’s outside shooting wasn’t falling, however, and like most of his teammates, he struggled from the free-throw line. Ketchikan guard Mark Dulay tallied 13 points.
Juneau hit just 19 of 30 at the charity stripe, while Ketchikan was a dismal 7-19.
Despite six turnovers and seven fouls in the first four minutes of the game, Kayhi held a 7-4 lead before Juneau went on an 11-3 run to end the quarter. Yadao scored six points in less than a minute to key the run.
Ketchikan battled back to jump in front 18-17 in the second quarter on a layup by Auger, but again Juneau responded with an 8-2 run to go up by five. The Crimson Bears held a 28-23 advantage at the break.
The Crimson Bears looked like they might pull away early in the third quarter, claiming a 35-28 advantage after a three-point play by Shoemaker, but once again Ketchikan responded. The Kings finished the quarter on an 11-3 run, taking a 39-38 lead on a 3-pointer by Fred Seludo after a flawlessly executed offensive series.
“It’s a Stockhausen-coached team,” Casperson said. “You know they are going to come back on you, that they are never going to give up. That’s how he coaches them.”
The game was tied 43-43 with 6:14 left to play after Day hit a floater on a good drive down the lane, but Juneau-Douglas took over from there.
“I would imagine after the first-game nerves are out of the way, the teams will settle in a little more and it will be a little cleaner brand of basketball,” Casperson said.
Bruce Jones led the JDHS JV with 13 points in a tough 71-49 loss to Ketchikan JV on Friday and Adam Empson added 12. The Ketchikan junior varsity used a 13-1 run at the end of the second quarter to take a 38-25 halftime lead, then pushed the advantage to as much as 25 points in the second half. Empson also scored 13 points as the JDHS C team lost to the Ketchikan C 51-49.
“It is still pretty early in the season,” Casperson said. “We are still figuring things out. And when I say ‘we’ that is myself included in terms of rotation and which groups and combinations play best together. We were able to put runs together and Ketchikan responded right back with their own. In order to create separation on someone we have to have consistency defensively during those runs. I think more so down the stretch we were making the shots and getting the stops.”
On Saturday the Crimson Bears took Casperson to heart and made all the right defensive choices, taking a lead in the first quarter and stretching it into a 75-60 win. Juneau-Douglas took control with a 13-0 first quarter run, then kept the Kings at bay the rest of the game. The Kings led 8-6 early, but then Juneau-Douglas went on a 13-0 run to take command. Juneau-Douglas led 28-14 at the end of the first quarter and Kayhi never got closer than seven points the rest of the night.
Juneau-Douglas seniors guards Lance Ibesate, Tony Yadao and Austin Shoemaker combined for 40 points, and senior forward Alex Calloway added 11 points, as the experienced Crimson Bears had the upper hand in both games. Juneau-Douglas used a 20-4 fourth-quarter run to win 69-55 on Friday.
Ibesate lead JDHS with 21 points, Yadao had 13, Alec Callahan 11 and Gary Speck eight.
“He did everything he needed to do to help us win tonight,” Casperson said of Ibesate. “As a team, the things we have worked on in practice are being executed on the court...and the things we haven’t worked on we handled very well.”
Kayhi played Juneau-Douglas relatively evenly after the first quarter, but it wasn’t enough for the Kings to seriously climb back into the game. The Kings scored the first five points of the second half, and had a chance to cut the lead to four points, but a 3-point attempt from Day went in-and-out. Following the 3-point miss, the Crimson Bears went on a 12-2 run to push a 48-41 lead up to 60-43.
The Kings never gave up, and the crowd cheered them on each time they got the score under 10 points, but the veteran Crimson Bears didn’t allow Kayhi to put together any long rallies.
“They’ve got two all-state guards that have started for three years for them, and it showed,” Stockhausen said. “Besides Kyle, all of our guards just got done playing their second varsity game.”
Ibesate and Yadao have had starting roles or major playing minutes since they were sophomores.
“A lot will start with our guards,” Casperson said. “Lance and Tony have a considerable amount of basketball knowledge. They know how to control situations.Once we got that early lead it was important to keep it. We know what the Ketchikan guys can do. They keep coming at you, they are not going to quit.”
Juneau-Douglas hit three 3-point baskets in its first-quarter explosion, but also did a better job of rebounding the ball and scoring on offensive putbacks. Yadao drained a 3-point basket from the right corner 40 seconds into the game, a sign of what was to come from the Crimson Bears.
“We definitely made a few more shots today than we did yesterday,” Casperson said. “But so did Ketchikan. It was a cleaner game, which I was expecting, but that spurt we had in the beginning I wasn’t really expecting.”
In the first quarter, it looked like the Kings might get run out of their own gym. Kayhi regained its composure, but showed it still has some growing to do to get to where Juneau-Douglas is right now.
Shoemaker scored only six points for the Crimson Bears, but is an explosive presence off the bench for a JDHS team with three quick, talented guards and a deep rotation of solid big men.
“We are definitely blessed to have the quickness at guard that we do,” Casperson said. “Then we have a guy like Austin coming off the bench. He is a very dynamic player as a sixth man. He wants to lead the team in rebounding and I think he did that tonight. Alec also rebounded very well. I can see that rebounding and the players coming off the bench are going to be key for us this season.”
“We’ve got three strong teams in Southeast. Thunder Mountain is going to be tough, too,” Ibesate said. “I think the (Southeast) teams will surprise some people this year.”