ANCHORAGE — Alec Calloway scored the first basket of Juneau-Douglas High School’s second breakfast game of the 4A Boys state basketball championships and the Crimson Bears never looked back in a 55-42 win over Fairbanks’ Lathrop High School on Friday morning.
“We just wanted to live to play another game,” Calloway said. “If we lose we are done for the season. I just wanted to play hard and crash the boards hard.”
Calloway rebounded on Lathrop’s next missed shot, sent an outlet pass to Lance Ibesate who hit Austin Shoemaker for an easy layup. Evan Gross scored on the next possession caused by a Calloway block and Tony Yadao followed that with a deep 3. The only starter not scoring in the first period was Ibesate, who dished out three assists in the stanza and the Crimson Bears were up 16-8 to start the second period.
Calloway scored 12 of his 14 points and seven of his team high 11 rebounds in the first half.
Ibesate scored two quick layups to start the second period and Ryan Kelly, Jeffrey Pusich and Phillip Fenumiai capped off a substitution run that left the Malemutes (11-13) panting for a second wind and looking at a 30-17 deficit.
“I think we had our moments,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “Sadly, all the 8 a.m. practices and that game yesterday paid off for us. We had a decent start and were pretty active. If you take care of the ball and get good shots at the rim you will be in any ball game, and if you make those shots you put distance between yourself and your opponents. Lathrop is quick and they have fast hands. Their zone threw us off but we were able be patient. I am so proud of our guys for rallying today. It showed some leadership. We have a lot of seniors and they wanted to make sure they keep playing, so I am glad they worked hard today and played together.”
JDHS (21-6) didn’t let up in the second half as Shoemaker had two steals and Yadao hit three jumpers in a row as the Crimson Bears went on a 9-3 run to start the third period. JDHS led 46-29 starting the final period.
Yadao would finish with 14 points, 11 in the second half, and Ibesate added 11 with game high six assists and six rebounds. Gross added six points and three rebounds, Fenumiai three points and three boards, Kelly, Jackson Lehnhart and Shoemaker two each, and Jeffrey Pusich one. Shoemaker also pulled down five rebounds. JDHS had 15 turnovers in the contest and 27 between the first two games of the tourney.
The Crimson Bears hit 12-of-22 shots at the charity stripe, the Malemutes 8-of-11. Tremon Washington and Ryan Graham-Taylor led Lathrop with 10 points apiece.
“Juneau did a good job today,” Lathrop coach Milo Griffin said. “We have faced them five times in a row in this tournament and never beaten them. They always push the ball up the floor and a very disciplined team. They are going to give us 110 percent effort.”
The Crimson Bears will play Kenai at 2 p.m. Saturday in the fourth game at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
“We won’t change anything we do,” Casperson said. “We will just watch their game, find out their tendencies and go from there. Our team wanted to do the best they could, and that was a win today and hopefully a win tomorrow.”