East High School’s Taria Page scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds but she could not stop a team of hungry Crimson Bears looking for a quality win on Thursday night in the 2013 Lady Lynx Prep Tournament at Dimond High School.
“The key for us was hustle,” JDHS assistant coach Brittany Fenumiai said. “One hundred percent hard work.”
The Crimson Bears put forth four aggressive quarters, something they have not done routinely all season, meaning they are beginning to mature on the floor.
Junior Kaitlin Fagerstrom and sophomore Rachel Roldan found a scoring touch early, accounting for all 10 of JDHS’ first quarter points to keep pace with the 13 scored by the Thunderbirds.
While East kept pounding the ball inside in the second period, JDHS found the net from their small ball players on the perimeter and trailed 29-22 at the half.
“We just read what the defense gave us,” Fenumiai said. “We told them to shoot if they were open and to dribble drive and penetrate and kick the ball out if they had that opportunity too.”
Normally a slow starting second-half team, the Crimson Bears picked right up where they left off, breaking the East High 1-2-2 full court press.
The JDHS guards and wings easily moved the ball up court to feed senior Gabi Fenumiai for six of her 10 game points. Fenumiai also grabbed four rebounds.
The Crimson Bears closed to within three, 37-34, at the end of three quarters.
“The hardest thing was not to focus on the negatives,” head coach Dee Boster said. “We did not get back on defense all the time and our rotation was off but it got better throughout the game.”
While all of East’s points in the final stanza came from Page, JDHS balanced their attack with five players finding the net.
Junior Kimberlee Kelly came up big in the fourth quarter, hitting nine of her team-high 15 points and going 5-5 at the free throw line. Fagerstrom kept the Thunderbirds honest with a deep three and scored five of her 14 game points in the period.
Senior Emily Winters added six points, Roldan five, senior Marissa Brakes and junior Kayla Balovich one each. Brakes also dished out a game-high seven assists, Fagerstrom had four rebounds, and Kelly and Roldan pulled down three apiece.
JDHS hit 9-17 from the charity stripe and 20-44 from the field, East went 12-17 and 19-48. Togafiti Manu added 12 points for East, Mafileiola Makihele four, Brele Johnson two, Virgin John Baptiste and Dajah Motuga one each.
JDHS plays Chugiak today, a 47-45 winner over Bartlett.