The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team showed their 47-45 home win over Lathrop in December’s Capital City Classic was no fluke, just close, by dismantling the Malemutes at their Fairbanks’ lair 38-29 in the Joe T Classic Tournament.
The Crimson Bears found a deep touch from Kaitlin Fagerstrom and Rachelle Roldan and three inside baskets from Kallen Hoover, Kacey Jackson and Kymberlee Kelly to open a 13-9 first quarter lead. Another 12 points in the second stanza and a half-court trapping defense put the Juneau girls on top 25-16 at the break.
“We played a really good three quarters,” Juneau-Douglas coach Dee Boster said. “Just not in a row. That third quarter just really bites us for some reason.”
The Crimson Bears struggled from the free throw line, missing all four strokes taken in the third period, and had just two scores; one from Fagerstrom and another from Julia Noreen.
Lathrop closed to within five points, 29-24 starting the finals stanza, and closed the gap to two just a minute into the fourth.
“We stopped being patient on offense,” Boster said. “We starting playing scrappy and physical like Lathrop was doing and we lost our composure. We starting being impatient on our shots and turning the ball over.”
The Crimson Bears took a time out and reverted to a more deliberate pace on offense while still being aware of pressuring the Lathrop guards on the perimeter.
Kelly, Roldan and Izzy Watts were instrumental in getting key steals and running the Malemutes out of their offensive mode.
“Everybody played quite a bit,” Boster said. “When our offense is controlled we do a lot better.”
Fagerstrom led the Crimson Bears with 13 points, Roldan and Kelly seven each, Jackson and Tori Fogg three apiece, Hoover and Noreen two each and Watts one.
JDHS hit 6-24 at the charity stripe; Lathrop went 1-8.
Brooke Lizotte led the Malemutes with 16 points, Shakira Shaw and Cheyenne Dibert four each, Kimi Duffield three and Karli Fitzgerald two.
“We took some chances with defense at half court,” Boster said. “Izzy (Watts) was sometimes on the point guard and she is really good at forcing a player to their weak hand.”
The Crimson Bears play Monroe today at 3 p.m. and the state’s top ranked Kodiak Bears on Saturday at 3 p.m.