Mt. Edgecumbe’s Kacy Green sank three free throws in the final 13 seconds to stun the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears in their own gym on Thursday night 47-42.
“They are very good at what they do and they disrupted anything we tried to get into,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “They controlled the tempo and had a well executed game plan. We did not execute nearly as well with the things we had prepared for. My hat is off to them. They did a really nice job.”
The Braves, a 3A power, used a patient passing attack to counter the Crimson Bears tenacious defense.
“Most of our guys are becoming more aggressive,” Braves coach Archie Young said. “They are getting more comfortable with being aggressive and we tell them that aggressive teams win ball games.”
JDHS’ Evan Gross powered in the first bucket of the game but five seconds later Green drove the lane and hit a basket while drawing a foul on the Crimson Bears’ Lance Ibesate. Green hit the free throw to put the Braves up 3-2, it would be their only lead until Dominique Hall buried a jumper with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter for a 29-28 advantage.
JDHS’ Alec Calloway scored inside five seconds later to regain the lead, followed another shot and dished to Phillip Fenumiai for another deuce as the two teams exchanged baskets with the Crimson Bears leading 35-33 starting the final period.
Mt. Edgecumbe’s Hall gave the Braves buried a three at the 5:06 mark to go up two, but seconds later Tony Yadao gave the home team his own triple from deep for the lead again.
Tied at 41, the Braves Jaylin Prince hit a three to take the lead for good. With 1:07 remaining, JDHS’ Ryan Kelly stole the ball and was fouled, sinking a free throw to get the Crimson Bears moving. Yadao stole the next possession and JDHS got three shots at tying the score but failed to convert and Mt. Edgecumbe put the ball in Green’s hands in the final seconds.
The usually terrifying Crimson Bears full court press was not affective against the patient passing Braves and JDHS fell back to zone or man throughout the night.
“We didn’t get much out of it in the first half so we didn’t use it a whole lot,” Casperson said. “When it came down to the end, it end it was too little to late in terms of our effort and our execution of our pressure.”
JDHS led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter and 26-22 at the half. Dominique Hall hit seven of his team-high 17 points in the second period to keep the Braves on course and buried three from beyond the arch in the contest.
Austin Shoemaker hit two deep shots in the second quarter as well for six of his eight team points to keep JDHS on the move.
Calloway led the Crimson Bears with 10 points, Shoemaker had eight, Gross four, Yadao, Jackson Lehnhart, Fenumiai, and Darien Stanger three each, Ibesate, Kelly, Jeffrey Pusich and Gary Speck two each.
Hall led the Braves with 17 points, Jaylin Prince added 13, Green 11, Cody Sherman four and Leo Ford two. JDHS hit 2-5 at the charity stripe, Mt. Edgecumbe went 14-21.
The Mt. Edgecumbe team was on its way to play Haines on Friday and Saturday.
“Juneau is a very good team,” Young said. “Anytime we can play a good team and have success it really helps our mindset. It is a great learning experience for our kids. We tell them to go into every game with that mindset. We like to play three games in a row, it is the best preparation for the region tournament.”
The Braves have now beaten JDHS twice in a row, accomplishing the first win in last season’s Region V Crossover Championship game.
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears’ girls won at Fairbanks on Thursday, beating the Malemutes 58-55.
Esra Siddeek led JDHS with 25 points, Gabi Fenumiai added 13, Marissa Brakes 11, TJ Garcia three, Kym Kelly, Sierra Tagaban, and Kayla Balovich two each. Siddeek scored 10 of her points in the second quarter and Fenumiai scored 13 in the first half but fouled out in the third quarter. Brakes hit eight free throws in the fourth quarter.
Lathrop was led by Alisha Allen’s 22 points and Jasmine White’s 20.
JDHS led 12-10 after one period of play, 30-19 at the half and 44-33 starting the final quarter.
“We really executed our plays well tonight,” JDHS coach Dee Boster said. “This is probably the most patient we have ever been on offense. It was a physical game and we were able to keep our composure at the end.”