The Juneau-Douglas High School boy’s basketball team lost to Lathrop 75-61 in their opening game at the Joe T Classic in Fairbanks on Thursday.
The Falcons gave up two quarters of 26 points, the first and the third, and both resulted in momentum for the Malemutes.
“You can’t give up that many points in one quarter, let alone two,” Juneau-Douglas coach Robert Casperson said. “Most teams score that in a game and we gave them 52 in two quarters.”
The game began with a cold shooting JDHS squad.
Three early Crimson Bears misses led to four Malemutes fast-break points in the first minute of play.
Lathrop opened with a man-to-man full court defense and forced a five-man substitution by JDHS, who trailed 10-0 at the five-minute mark.
Kaleb Tompkins stemmed the scoring drought with a triple to break the ice for Juneau and would add another in the stanza to keep the Crimson Bears close at 26-15.
Lathrop buried a triple to open a 29-15 advantage starting the second quarter and JDHS went to a physical game inside.
Nathan Klein completed a three-point play to bring the Crimson Bears within eight, 35-27, with less than three minutes remaining in the first half.
Bruce Jones followed with his third block of the game and a trapping two-three zone seemed to briefly stifle the Malemutes.
“We were switching in and out of different defenses,” Casperson said. “I am really proud with how our guys kept competing and working their way back into the game. We were pressuring and running different substitutions in and out of the line up.”
A steal and a score by Tompkins cut the lead to 35-33 with under a minute left and Adam Empson tied the score. Lathrop would hit a tip in at the buzzer to lead 37-35 at the break.
The Crimson Bears were flat in the third, scoring just 10 points and committing that many turnovers while the Malemutes put up another 26-point stanza.
Lathrop had three starters with three fouls in the first half but the JDHS offense couldn’t draw them into trouble in the second half.
“If the game were just the second and fourth quarters we would be fine,” Casperson said. “We moved the ball really well tonight. We made an effort to get back into the contest.”
Lathrop led 63-45 starting the final stanza and the Crimson Bears closed to within eight early in the fourth but expended too much energy to keep the comeback in sight.
Klein had his best game of the season for JDHS, scoring 13 points, getting eight rebounds and “getting after the Lathrop big men” according to Casperson.
Tompkins added 10 points, Bruce Jones nine, Adam Empson eight, Gunnar Schultz seven, Rahul Chhabria six, Kevin Guimmayen four, Dartanan Hodge-Campos three and Stewart Conn one.
JDHS hit 12-21 at the charity stripe; Lathrop went 13-21.
The Malemutes’ Jennis tallied 17 points, Berner 16, Ford 14, Jordan five, White four, Meadows and Cannon two each and Maiden one.
The Crimson Bears play Monroe today (4:30 p.m.) and Kodiak on Saturday (4:30 p.m.).
“We are up here for opportunities and experience,” Casperson said. “And these three games will do that.”