The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears girls basketball team opened Region V tournament play with a 54-41 win over their cross-town rivals the Thunder Mountain Falcons on Wednesday at Ketchikan.
“We came out with a win and, right now, we are okay with that,” JDHS coach Dee Boster said.
A turnover in the first minute for the Falcons against a storming half court defense by Juneau-Douglas gave the Crimson Bears’ Esra Siddeek a layup and Sierra Tagaban followed with a steal in what could have been a replay of the team’s first four meetings of the season.
Except this was the Region V tournament and a vastly improved Falcons team from two weeks ago.
The Falcons calmly worked the ball around to Jonelle Staveland who knocked down a three pointer to calm the JDHS tide.
Ashley Young tied the score for the Falcons at five but Siddeek answered with another bucket inside. Shale Kibby tied the score in the next possession and Gabi Fenumiai again gave the Crimson Bears the two-point edge on the next trip down the court.
JDHS jumped to a 19-9 second quarter advantage forcing the second timeout of the first half for Falcons coach Tanya Nizich.
As with the first timeout, Staveland came out and fired a deep three that found nothing but the bottom of the net and Tupo followed with a put back to pull the Falcons within five at 19-14. After a JHDS run Young trimmed the lead to eight at 23-15 but Fenumiai was fouled on a made shot and sank the free throw.
Staveland sank her third trifecta at the one-minute mark to bring the Falcons within seven at 25-18.
After a Falcons air ball Marissa Brakes pushed the ball up court to Siddeek for a basket and a 29-18 lead at the half.
JDHS’ Siddeek and TMHS’ Ashley Young exchanged hoops to start the second half. After multiple possession exchanges Fenumiai was fouled on a scoring shot inside at the 3:40 mark to give the Crimson Bears a 38-23 lead. Tingley cut it to 38-25 with a short jumper and then wrestled the ball away for a steal. The Falcons couldn’t capitalize and Brakes again found a Siddeek on a fast break to push the lead to 15 points at 40-25. The Falcons followed with a Siosi Tupo jumper and a Staveland fast break off a long rebound to force a JDHS timeout at 40-29.
Kibby hit a free-throw and Emily Winters stole the ball with 12 seconds left in the third period but the Falcons threw a chance away as the quarter expired with the Crimson Bears up 40-30.
Young cut into the lead with a turn-a-round jumper inside in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. Staveland followed with a driving score to cut the lead to six at 40-34. As the Falcons again battled back, JDHS’ Fenumiai scored inside and Brakes stole the ball for a layup to increase the lead to 47-33.
Staveland countered with two freethrows to bring the game within 11 again. Staveland would hit another free-throw to make it a 10 point game but Fenumiai was fouled on another scoring play in the paint and ripped a rebound away from the Falcons on their next possession.
“I was really proud with how the girls played at the end,” Boster said. “That is usually our downfall but we really matured as a team in this game. Hopefully we are peaking at the right time. We have been putting a lot of emphasis on shooting and everybody being an offensive threat. It was nice to see that on the floor tonight.”
With 2:15 remaining in the game Staveland pulled TMHS to 49-41 and then the Falcons defense forced a turnover and a Crimson Bears time out. Siddeek hit a free throw with just over a minute remaining and JDHS stole the next possession.
Brakes sank a free throw to push the lead to 10 with 50 seconds remaining.
JDHS now has a spot in the title game on Friday against the winner of today’s Thunder Mountain and Ketchikan Lady Kings match up.
Fenumiai led the Crimson Bears with 20 points, Siddeek added 15, Brakes eight, Kaitlin Fagerstorm six, Tagaban four, and Kymberlee Kelly one.
Staveland led the Falcons with 23 points, Tupo had eight, Young six, Tingley and Noe Maka to apiece. JDHS hit 14-26 at the charity stripe, TMHS went 8-15.
Lance Ibesate called for a clear out and drove into a left handed lay up for the first two points of the Crimson Bears Region V opening game against Thunder Mountain at Ketchikan on Wednesday.
A sign that the senior was all business. Ibesate pushed the ball up court on the next possession and Alec Calloway bured a three pointer for a five to nothing lead.
The Falcons went to a running attack and Matt Seymour was fouled on a three point attempt, making two of three from the line. Keith Ainsworth buried a deep three to tie the score and the game would be a barn burner.
JDHS’ Phil Fenumiai hit a triple and Ainsworth drove again for a score and the game was tied at eights.
The Falcons took the lead at 9-8 on a Ben Jahn freethrow. Calloway gave the lead back to the Crimson Bears but Jahn was fouled again inside and scored to push TMHS back in front 12-10. Ibesate gave the Crimson Bears a 13-12 lead after one quarter.
After a Falcons tie, Fenumiai drove the lane for two and JDHS led, only to have Ainsworth tip in a shot on TMHS’ next possession to knot the score at 17. The teams exchanged buckets into the break with the Falcons getting the last shot at the basket as Villi Tupou hit a triple for a 23-22 advantage.
The back and forth continued through the third period with Ainsworth missing a triple at the buzzer and JDHS taking a 32-30 lead into the final stanza. Grussendorf drilled a three for the lead but Austin Shoemaker tied the score and Yadao gave JDHS the lead again.
Seymour tied the scoe at 42-42 with two minutes remaining on another three-ball. Ben Jahn then scored inside for a 44-42 Falcons lead but Ibesate sank two freethrows to tie the score with 1:25 remaining.
Jahn drew an offensive foul on a screen, missed a freethrow and was fouled again. Jahn hit both for a 46-44 lead but Ibesate drove the length and Shoemaker tipped in a bucket to knot the game at 46 with 30 seconds remaining. A last second shot missed for the Falcons play went to overtime.
Seymour hit one of two freethrows for a 47-46 lead. The Falcons zone caused a turnover and TMHS missed a shot.
Yadao missed a jumper but Showemaker rebounded and fed Yadao who spun and scored. Yadao hit the shot and was fouled by Seymour. Yadao missed the freethrow but got his own rebound and was fouled again. With the Crimson Bears leading 48-47 Yadao hit two charity strippers for a 50-47 lead.
The Crimson Bears pressed and forced a no look pass out of bounds and possession went to JDHS.
With 37 seconds remaining Ibesate was fouled and hit one of two for a 51-47 advantage. On the second shot miss the Falcons knocked the ball out of bounds and had to foul Fenumiai immediately. Fenumiai made one of two freebies for a 52-47 lead. The Falcons rebounded and Ben Jahn was fouled, making one of two. Calloway rebounded the miss and was fouled and the senior knocked down one freethrow, missed the second and Fenumiai put in the rebound for a seven point lead at 55-48 and sealed the win.
Shoemaker added two more freethrows for the 57-48 final.