The Juneau-Douglas High School boy’s basketball team ran into an athletic Lathrop team on Friday at the Crimson Bears’ den, falling 69-57 after a first half that saw seven lead changes and the Malemutes clinging to a 33-30 halftime lead.
“I feel that we came out flatter than I expected,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “I feel that when we kept them in front and forced them to play in the half court we did a lot better.”
Senior Keith Ainsworth scored eight of his 18 game-points in the first quarter as JDHS held a 16-14 advantage.
Lathrop’s Tremon Washington was unstoppable in the second quarter, scoring 12 of his game-high 26 points on an assortment of long range and driving shots.
Ainsworth kept the Crimson Bears in play with two deep triples and sophomore Adam Empson tallied four of his eight game-points around the bucket.
“We did a really good job of rebounding,” Casperson said. “Especially considering the athleticism on the other side of the ball.”
The Malemutes went on a 12-6 run to open the third quarter and ended the stanza up 51-41.
Senior Aquino Brinson nailed a deep triple to start the fourth quarter that pulled the Crimson bears to within seven points at 51-44 and then added two free throws to make the lead just five, but another 8-2 run by Lathrop off of their defensive full court press denied a comeback.
“A lot of their points tonight came off of transition,” Casperson said. “Whether it was turnovers that turned into layups or defensive rebounds that they got quick outlets and down the floor, I thought that was where they really hurt us. We need to do a better job in sprinting back in either situation.”
The Crimson Bears would not get closer than nine points the rest of the game.
Brinson added 14 points for JDHS, senior Jeffrey Pusich and sophomore Bruce Jones five apiece, junior Dar Hodge-Campos three, senior Gary Speck two, and sophomore Nathan Klein one.
JDHS hit 13-18 at the free-throw line, Lathrop went 17-23.
Tevin Gladden added 12 points for the Malemutes, Gabriel Cunningham 10, Everett Green eight, Kyle Carlson seven, Cole Berner five, and Alex Jordan one.