The Juneau-Douglas girls basketball team learned first-hand Saturday why Kodiak is ranked No. 1 in the state. The Bears held their crimson visitors to just five points in the second half of play on the way to a 53-15 victory to keep its unbeaten streak alive.
The Crimson Bears played Kodiak in the final day of the Joe T. Classic Basketball Tournament held in Fairbanks.
JDHS coach Dee Boster said Kodiak’s experience and aggressive style of play led to a “rough, rough game.”
“They have 8 seniors on their roster, several of them could probably average double figures each game,” she said. “They’ve probably been together for about 3 years.
Kodiak grabbed a 16-5 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Kodiak Bears spent most of the first half running a full-court press in an attempt to increase the game’s tempo, something Boster said her team was trying to prevent.
“Our whole game plan was to not run with them,” she said. “We slowed the game down but we didn’t match up well.”
In the second half, with a 39-10 lead in hand, the Bears switched to a half-court defense but never let up on the intensity. The Crimson Bears scored five points in the third quarter but were held scoreless in the final stanza.
“They were a very tough team,” Boster said, adding that Kodiak’s much taller squad kept the Crimson Bears from any second chance points. “We were able to get the shots, but they ... outmatched us by size.
The loss comes a night after the Crimson Bears dropped a third quarter lead while playing Monroe. Boster said playing strong “a full four quarters” is something her team has to be able to do against its toughest competition.
Kaitlin Fagerstrom and Tori Fogg led JDHS in scoring with six points apiece. Monika Rivera added two and Izzy Watts one. Kodiak’s Hannah Wandersee led all scorers with 17 points, followed by Carissa Cannon with 16, and Jerica Nelson adding 14.
The Crimson Bears will next face cross-town rival Thunder Mountain at the Thunder Dome on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
JD BOYS 55, KODIAK 78
Kodiak rode the hot hand of 3-point marksman Austin Frick to defeat the Juneau-Douglas boys team 78-55 on Saturday in Fairbanks.
Frick’s dropped seven three points on the night on his way to a game-high 31 points.
“Austin Frick shot the lights out,” JDHS head coach Robert Casperson said. “We didn’t defend him as well as we wanted to. We’ll have to do better when they come down to Juneau.”
The Crimson Bears will face Kodiak again Feb. 21-22 during homecoming.
Both teams started hot leading to a 24-20 Kodiak advantage after the first quarter. Juneau’s Adam Empson scored seven of his team-high 19 points in the quarter.
“It was a solid performance by Adam, who was trying to keep us in the game,” Casperson said.
From there the pace slowed for both sides, though not by much, with Kodiak still leading 42-34 at the half.
Casperson said his team struggled to match Kodiak’s intensified as the game wore on.
The Kodiak Bears pushed their lead farther ahead in the third quarter behind a couple of Frick threes. Ten of his 15 second-half points came in the third quarter.
The Bears were able to penetrate Juneau’s defense and then kick the ball out to perimeter shooters left open. And even was Frick was closely guarded he still managed to get his shots to go in.
“He’s got a pretty quick trigger,” Casperson said.
The Crimson Bears switched up its defensive scheme in the second half but it “didn’t make a difference.”
“I don’t know what happened to us in the secod half,” Casperson said.
The fourth quarter of action was more of the same, with Kodiak outscoring the Crimson Bears 17-10.
Casperson said he team took away valuable experience from the tournament, playing three tough opponents in three nights.
“It’s great competition, three quality teams, three top opponents,” he said. “That’s three great opportunities for us to play top teams.”
Casperson said his team has made progress in serveral areas, particularly blocking out and reboudning.
“We’ve gotten better at blocking out and rebounding,” he said. “We get our hands on the ball first, a lot, but we don’t always come away with it.
“I liked our rebounding and how we moved the ball quickly on offense. That’s when we looked our sharpest.”
He said the Crimson Bears also need to continue improving on defense and taking care of the ball.
“In the third quarter of all three games we missed shots and turned the ball over in the third (quarter), and that’s a tough combination to come back from.”
All 13 of Juneau’s varsity players traveled north for the tournament, allowing some of the younger, less experienced players to get quality minutes.
“Some of our younger guys got some good minutes,” Casperson said. “Everyone’s playing, everyone’s contributing, we just need to make sure we’re improving as season progresses.
Empson led JDHS with 19 points, followed by Bruce Jones, 9; Gunnar Schultz and Kaleb Tompkins, 6; Nathan Klein, 3; and two apiece by Manase Maake, Treyson Ramos, Kevin Guimmayen, Rahul Chhabria and Bryce Swofford.
Leading Kodiak behind Frick’s 31 points were Josh Bezona, 15; Alec Hall, 13; and Scott Garcia, 7.
Juneau will next face Chugiak on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at home.
Friday saw the Monroe Rams take down both Crimson Bears squads.
The Monroe Catholic girl’s basketball team used a 17 point fourth quarter to complete a come-from-behind 39-30 win over Juneau, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
JDHS led 7-6 after one quarter and trailed 17-14 at the break. Rachelle Roldan provided an offensive spark and Kymberlee Kelly hit a deep triple to put the Crimson Bears up 25-22 to end the third period.
The Crimson Bears were led by Roldan’s 11 points, Kelly added seven, Izzy Watts, three; Kallen Hoover, Maddie McKeown, Tori Fogg and Kaitlin Fagerstrom two apiece; and Monika Rivera one.
JDHS went 9-14 at the charity stripe; Monroe 11-16.
Sara Hajdukovich scored eight of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Rams comeback. Andi Clark scored seven of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. B. Lundgren added three points, A. Yaurker, M. Wallace and M. Hajdukovich two each.
The 3A Monroe boys continue to be the class of any division in the state as they scored 52 points in the first half and easily beat the Crimson Bears 79-42.
Scooter Bynum scored 19 of his game-high 22 points in the first half to help the Rams build the lead. Bynum did not play during the fourth quarter.
David Stepovich added 15 points in the first half and finished with 19 points on the night.
Kaleb Tompkins led the Crimson Bears with nine points, Stewart Conn added eight, Bruce Jones six, Treyson Ramos, Dartanan Hodge-Campos and Jacob Thibodeau four each, Gunnar Schultz, Bryce Swofford and Nathan Klein two each and Rahul Chhabria one.
JDHS hit 4-6 at the line; Monroe 9-12.