The Juneau-Douglas High School boy’s basketball team ran into an athletic Lathrop team on Friday and Saturday at the Crimson Bears’ den, falling 69-57 and 47-38. On Friday a first half 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.
On Saturday Lathrop shot 47 freethrows to Juneau’s 20 in a game the Crimson Bears lost by nine points. A technical foul on the JDHS bench in the fourth quarter saw an injured Lathrop player Carlson sub in to shoot the freethrows and then sub out without a click on the clock going off.
The Crimson Bears wore black uniforms and battled from behind the entire game. JDHS trailed 8-5 after one quarter, 18-16 at the half, and 35-26 starting the final stanza. Whenever the JDHS pulled within striking distance their press resulted in a foul and Lathrop converted, stemming momentum. Ainsworth led with 10 points, Brinson, Pusich and Speck added six, Lehnhart four, Empson, Jones and Klein two apiece. Lathrop’s Cunningham led with 12 points, Gladden and Washington added eight, Green six, Jennis five, Carlson four, Jordan two, Berner and Ford one each.
“We were better tonight than last night,” Casperson said. “And that is our goal, to get better every night.
JDHS hosts Mt. Edgecumbe on Thursday and Ketchikan Friday and Saturday.