A slow start defensively put the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears boy’s basketball team in a deep hole on Wednesday night at Northern Lights Conference leader Colony and allowed the Knights to take a non-conference 55-34 win.
The Crimson Bears won the opening tip and scored first on Aquino Brinson’s jumper and after the Knights tied the score Brinson drained a three for another advantage. Colony put a run to tie the score again and then take a 17-9 lead.
“We gave up the biggest quarter of the game to them in the first,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “Right out of the gate we were down big. Brinson has had some big games for us this year and now if we can just find that consistency all around, we have guys scoring one game and disappearing the next.”
Brinson led the Crimson Bears with a team high 13 points and tallied six of those in the second quarter as JDHS pulled to within five points at the break 25-20.
Another flat start in the third quarter put the Crimson Bears down 41-26 starting the final quarter.
“We gave up some nice looks to them,” Casperson said. “They caught us in the help side rotation and knocked down some pretty open shots. We have got to do better defensively if we are going to compete. Scoring 34 points doesn’t help us a whole lot, but if we are playing better defensively it will help to withstand those draughts on offense.”
Key to the game was the loss of Crimson Bears senior forward Gary Speck who rolled his ankle in warm-ups. Speck is listed as day-to-day.
“Gary just has a nose for the ball,” Casperson said. “He cuts hard, he always has his hands ready and he goes after rebounds. Not having him affected us.”
Jeff Pusich added six points for the Crimson Bears, Keith Ainsworth five, Adam Empson and Jackson Lehnhart three apiece, Manase Maake and Nathan Klein two each.
JDHS hit 6-13 at the charity stripe, Colony went 11-19.
Damien Fulp led the Knights with 14 points, Joe Gray added 10, Hunter Eisenhower nine, and Nathan Umbarger eight to top the scoring. Five other Knights added two points apiece.
“We have shown at times that we can do the things we need to do,” Casperson said. “It is the concentration and the execution that we need to do through the entire game. We were not aggressive enough, we were back on our heels. We finally decided we were going to attack a little more in the fourth quarter but by then it was already a 15-point game.”
JDHS plays Dimond tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the opening game of the Dimond Lynx Tournament.