The Juneau-Douglas girls basketball team improved 100-fold according to head coach Dee Boster, but the West Anchorage Eagles withstood an aggressive Crimson Bears attack to win 49-37, just one night after downing the Thunder Mountain Falcons across town.
“Other than a little break down in the third quarter I am very pleased with the way we played,” Juneau-Douglas coach Dee Boster said. “Definitely, one hundred percent not the same team, not even close. I don’t know where this team came from.”
JDHS employed what is known in their practice history as “The defensive game,”
And implemented that drill in practice. The game awards points for positive defensive achievements during scrimmages and results in the losing side running sprints.
“The girls don’t like to run sprints,” Boster said. “The past week has been some intense practices. The end result was playing competitive and knowing that they were playing to win the game, made them way more aggressive in practice.”
That intensity showed in the first two quarters of play as JDHS trailed just 10-9 after the first stanza and recorded five straight steals in the second period to lead 16-15 at the break.
West’s Theyoung Puoy and Channel Bookert reclaimed the lead starting the third quarter and the Eagles never trailed again.
JDHS senior Kymberlee Kelly closed the gap to two points at the 5:19 mark of the third but the Eagles’ Chamira Cockerham hit two straight baskets and Puoy ended the quarter with a deuce for a 29-20 advantage.
“We had a breakdown in rebounding in the third quarter,” Boster said. “Overall we played well, especially compared to the last five games. I thought we took care of the ball in the first half and we forced some turnovers. I am really pleased in the effort.”
West led by 13 points twice in the opening minutes of the final quarter but JDHS made a run as Kelly, Kaitlin Fagerstrom and Rachelle Roldan found the basket.
West’s Bookert drew her fifth foul with just over 2 minutes remaining and the Eagles up 40-25.
Kelly than began a string of aggressive shots, Fagerstrom scored and Roldan hit a free throw to bring the margin to 41-35 with 48 seconds remaining.
Marshal Eady hit two from the charity stripe and Fagerstrom matched that with a pair but West ran off the next four points as Kiana Alcantara hit a free throw and a hoop and teammate Fu’a Malaetia notched one from the line for the 49-37 final.
Kelly led the Crimson Bears with 20 points, Fagerstrom added eight, Tori Fogg four, Roldan three and Kacey Jackson two.
JDHS went 13-29 at the charity stripe (7-22 in the second half) and turned the ball over 7 times; West hit 9-18 from the line and had 11 turnovers.
Puoy led West with 13 points, Eady added nine, Malaetia, Bookert and Cockerham seven each, Kiana Alcantara five and Ruth Rivera one.
Boster also credited Fogg and Izzy Watts for guard play, Kacey Jackson for defensive play, and Monika Rivera added to the rebounding chores of Kelly and Fagerstrom.
“It is a bummer we lost,” Boster said. “The score really doesn’t do justice with how we played. I do believe we have a team that can win.”
The two teams battle again Saturday at 6:15 p.m. in the JDHS gym.