After winning their first two games in the 2012 Lady Lynx Prep Shootout over the weekend the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears seemed to be on a path to the championship game.
That path was blocked, however, by the state’s second-ranked hoops power, Dimond, 54-38 on Friday night and then in the third-fifth place game by West Valley 44-35.
“It could have been uglier,” JDHS coach Dee Boster said of the loss to Dimond. “They just out-hustled us.”
After trailing just 12-9 starting the second period, the Crimson Bears were outscored by the Lynx 20-8 heading into half time. The Lynx sagged one of their perimeter defenders into the paint to double team Gabi Fenumiai and the Crimson Bears could not hit the open shots that created.
Starting the third quarter trailing 32-17, JDHS played the Anchorage power even the remainder of the game but couldn’t recover from a 12-44 shooting night from the field. Dimond connected on 22 of 51 shots from the floor.
“Once we started hitting the high post we could get some good shots off,” Boster said. “By then it was too late. It was a bummer loss because I think we can match up with them better.”
Esra Siddeek was selected Player of the Game and led the Crimson Bears with 16 points, Kayla Balovich added seven points, Marissa Brakes and Ari Gross four apiece, Gabi Fenumiai three Nicole George two, Kymberlee Kelly and Sierra Tagaban one apiece. Fenumiai pulled down seven rebounds, Brakes five, Balovich and Gross four apiece, Kelly and George two, T Jae Garcia, Tagaban, Amberli Fitka, and Siddeek one. Brakes also had two assists.
“Marissa doesn’t get the credit she deserves,” Boster said. “She played a heck of a game. It was a tough one for the girls to lose. We had a little bit higher hopes. It was a big learning experience for the kids.”
The Crimson Bears hit 14-20 at the charity stripe while the Lynx went 6-11. JDHS had 15 turnovers and Dimond 14.
Tara Thompson led Dimond with 13 points, Alexis Rogers and Aminata Cole added 11 each.
Against West Valley on Saturday, Fenumiai scored 16 of her game-high 18 points in the first half and the Wolfpack’s Hannah Mattson scored 15 of her 18 as the Crimson Bears led 24-23 at the break.
JDHS would only score 11 points in the second half as Fenumiai was double teamed and the Crimson Bears offense didn’t respond.
“Out defense broke down the second half,” Boster said. “We played an awesome first half. We just haven’t put four quarters together yet in a game.”
The Crimson Bears’ game plan was to limit the scoring of the Wolfpack’s Mattson and Caitlyn Brice, who finished with 12 points.
“They had wide open shots and we didn’t adjust on defense,” Boster said. “I told the kids to let this one go, but to also let it leave a little bit of a bad taste in their mouth because we definitely could have won that game.”
Fenumiai also had a game-high 10 rebounds and the Crimson Bears had a 37-28 board advantage. Siddeek added six points, Tagaban and Brakes three apiece, Balovich and Gross two apiece, and George one. Brakes also finished with five assists. Tagaban was selected Player of the Game.
JDHS hit 1-8 at the charity stripe, West Valley went 5-7.
“We are not going to be successful unless somebody else on the team scores,” Boster said. “And you have to shoot to score. We have more people than Gabi and Esra who can score but they need to be aggressive.”
The Crimson Bears began the tourney by beating the Dimond JV 51-26 and the Colony Knights 60-54.
Gabi Fenumiai was selected to the All-Tourney Team and Esra Siddeek won the Nothing But Net Award as the best free throw shooter out of the 16 teams in action. Siddeek was 20-22 in the tourney.
Other Friday tourney scores: Ketchikan 44 Chugiak 39 (KTN - Melissa Elliot 12, CHG – Erinn Scotland 12); Craig 58 Dimond JV 45 (CRG – Melissa Castle 24, DMD – Kaylynn Haywood 11); Colony 53 North Pole 27 (COL – Jennifer Solano 9, NP – Raegan Smothers 9); Wasilla 47 West Valley 38 (WAS – Alyssa Hutchins 12, WV – Hannah Mattson 14); Kenai 52 South 33 (KHS – Sydney Taylor 18, SHS – Taylor Murray 14); West 50 East 29 (WHS – Chanel Bookert 12, EHS – Togafiti Manu 9); Nome 49 Lumen Christi 18 (NHS – Devynn Johnson 14, LCHS – Maggie McConnell 10).
Dimond beat Wasilla 54-47 for the championship. (DMD - Sierra Afoa 21, WAS - Kyla Dinkel 18). Other Saturday tourney scores: Colony 41 Ketchikan 33 (COL – Mary Klapperich 13, KHS – Bayley Lindgren 8); Kenai 38 Craig 31 (KHS – Cassie Ross 11, CRG – Melissa Castle 16); South 58 Dimond JV 41 (SHS – Taylor Murray 19, DMD – Lauren Hines 9); Chugiak 45 North Pole 36 (CHG – Alistie Aguilar, Jessi McMullen 11, NP – Raegan Smothers 14); East 55 Lumen Christi 23 (EHS – Taria Page 23, LCHS – Maggie McConnell, Raelynn Zitzow 6); West 56 Nome 49 (WHS – Chanel Bookert 17, NHS – Devynn Johnson 24).