JDHS girls win, boys fall at Kodiak

Girls top Kotzebue 57-33, boys lose to Kodiak 55-24
Juneau-Douglas' Jackson Lenhart dribbles past Kodiak's Josh Obas at the 46th Joe Floyd/Era Aviation Winter Classic Basketball Tournament Saturday at Kodiak High School. (Derek Clarkston/Kodiak Daily Mirror photo)

The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears girl’s basketball team had little problems, literally, with the Kotzebue Lady Huskies in their final game at the 46th Annual Joe Floyd/ERA Aviation Winter Classic Basketball Tournament at Kodiak on Saturday, while the JDHS boys ran into a potent home town team in the Bears.


“We were just a lot bigger and more athletic than they were,” JDHS coach Dee Boster said. “It was a game we expected to win, but I had to instill to the girls that we can’t overlook them, they have nothing to lose in the game.”

The Crimson Bears had all ten players score in the game. Esra Siddeek led JDHS with 10 points and Gabi Fenumiai nine, both scored seven of their totals in the first quarter and were used sparingly the rest of the way with neither going into the final period of play.

JDHS led 20-13 after that first quarter which saw Marissa Brakes, Amberli Fitka and Siddeek each drain a three-pointer. The Crimson Bears put the clamps on the Lady Huskies in the second period, allowing just four points and taking a 32-17 advantage into the break. Six different crimson Bears scored a field goal in the third period to take a 44-29 lead into the final eight minutes.

Ari Gross and Kayla Balovich added seven points apiece, Kaitlin Fagerstrom, Emily Winters and Brakes five each, Kymberlee Kelly four, Fitka three, and Tori Fogg two. JDHS was 7-16 at the line, Kotzebue 4-7. M. Hyatt led the Lady Huskies with 11 points, C. Snyder 10, P. McConnell eight, S. Sampson and M. Booth two. Gabi Fenumiai was selected to the all-tournament team.

After two quality outings in the tournament the Crimson Bears boys stumbled against the home town Kodiak Bears.

“There wasn’t much to talk about really,” JDHS coach Casperson said of the boys 55-24 loss. “We have some work a head of us. We got some decent looks but just didn’t get anything to drop.”

Bruce Jones led the Crimson Bears with six points (complete scoring was not available by press time).

Jeffrey Pusich won the tournament free throw shooting competition. Pusich also made the all-tourney team and Keith Ainsworth was selected the tournament Most Valuable Player.

Girls win 42-33, boys win 67-56

Gabi Fenumiai scored 23 points inside the key for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team and Keith Ainsworth tallied 29 from just about every where on the court for the JDHS boys as the Crimson Bears swept North Pole during day two of the 46th Annual Joe Floyd/ERA Aviation Winter Classic Basketball Tournament at Kodiak on Friday.

“We were patient on offense,” JDHS girl’s coach Dee Boster said. “We just kept pounding the ball down inside to Gabi and they pretty much didn’t have anybody to stop her.”

Fenumiai scored 11 of the Crimson Bears’ 15 first quarter points to establish a physical dominance against the Patriots in a 42-33 win. Fenumiai outscored North Pole’s 10 points in the stanza. Kymberlee Kelly added four of her six game points to match Fenumiai’s second period scoring and JDHS led 27-21 at the break. Both teams struggled to find any offense in the third period with Fenumiai scoring all three for JD and North Pole getting a lone three pointer from E. Croxen and two free throws from J. Broderick to end the period 30-26 JD. Esra Siddeek tallied all her five game points in the final period, Fenumiai added five more and Marissa Brakes hit her lone two free throws to account for the 12 fourth quarter points by the Crimson Bears.

“We looked much more comfortable on the court,” Boster said. “I am very pleased with our whole team effort.”

Kayla Balovich added four points for JDHS, Kaitlin Fagerstrom and Ari Gross one apiece. The Crimson Bears hit 12-18 at the charity stripe, the Patriots went 6-10. North Pole’s Croxen led with 12 points, Smothers 11, Broderick eight and Stewart two.

“The only downside was we just scored three points in the third quarter,” Boster said. “But they only scored five.”

On the boy’s side, Ainsworth put on a highlight show to lead the Crimson Bears past the North Pole Patriots 67-56.

Ainsworth went 6-6 from the charity stripe in the first quarter, threw down two break-a-way dunks in the second, notched a couple normal deuces in the third, and found the long ball in the final period.

“None of that by itself stands out other than what it totals up to,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “It was typical good solid consistent play from Keith and it came out of the offense. He put in some work to get there.”

North Pole played a 1-3-1 zone defense through the entire game.

“They were very aggressive out front with their guards,” Casperson said. “They have some strong kids and we weren’t ready to counter that until later in the game.”

Leading 15-13 starting the second period the Crimson Bears found themselves at the free throw line for seven of their 11 second quarter points and went into the half leading 26-24.

Jeff Pusich established inside position in the third period, and Adam Empson and Jackson Lehnhart got into the flow on the outside to keep JDHS up 40-36 starting the final quarter.

Ainsworth collected 15 of his game high 29 in the final eight minutes of play and Aquino Brinson six more, including four key free throws in the final possessions. Pusich finished with 11 points, Brinson eight, Lehnhart and Empson seven, Gary Speck and Dar Campos two apiece and Nathan Klein one. JDHS hit 25-36 at the free throw line, North Pole was 14-27. JD committed 20 fouls to NP’s 27. J. Million and K. Steward led the Patriots with 12 points each, Gibson added eight, Tamse seven, Tucker five, Reich and Campbell three, Hill, McCoy and Betts two.

“A win certainly feels better than the alternative,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “But we were still way to loose and sloppy with the ball. We can’t accept in victory what we can’t accept in defeat. We had a few more turnovers and more fouls than we would like.”


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