Dimond High School boys basketball came to Juneau looking for redemption. They found it in the fourth quarter of the Capital City Classic championship against Juneau-Douglas High School.
The two schools met Friday for a rematch of last year’s state championship, where JDHS came out on top 38-31. This time, Dimond played the spoiler, taking the Classic crown by holding their opponents scoreless for six minutes in the fourth quarter for a 61-48 win.
“It was an emotional game for us, we really wanted this one bad,” Dimond senior Anthony Parker said. “It was all it was hyped up to be.”
JDHS led from the first quarter until midway through the fourth, when Dimond staged a seven-point comeback.
During the first three quarters of the game, the home team didn’t have trouble breaking the Lynx’ full court press and exploited it with backdoor cuts in transition. When Dimond stopped gambling for steals, however, forcing JDHS to play with more defenders in front of them, the easy buckets dried up.
“We confined ourselves to pressing on the back side, letting them cross halfcourt and then pressing, setting traps in the corner,” Parker said.
Dimond took advantage of JDHS’ drought, with role player Derek Gates-Magnuson hitting a pair of momentum switching 3-pointers. When JDHS was finally able to end the run, they were in down 10 and in the double bonus with just two minutes to go.
Senior captain Bryce Swofford fouled out with 1:23 left on the clock, leaving Crimson Bears big man Erik Kelly to contain Dimond in the paint.
“We were making some bad passes, I was, nonchalant,” Kelly said. “We wanted to show that we’re not the same team as last year. Because we lost all of our players last year, we wanted to come out and make a statement and show them who we are. … This gives us something to work on.”
“I don’t believe it’s a statement game as much as a measuring stick,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “It’s our third game of the year. That’s the most pressure we’ve seen. I don’t think we’re ready to beat a team like Dimond.”
Parker led his team in scoring with 13 points followed by Nicolas Horning with 12 and Kylan Osborne with 10.
JDHS was led in defeat by Kelly with 18 and senior Kasey Watts with 12.
Dimond hit 18 of their 35 foul shots while JDHS — who only garnered four attempts from the line — hit three.
The Crimson Bears next host West Valley Jan. 3 and 4.
CRIMSON BEARS 48, LYNX 61
Juneau-Douglas 11 17 12 8 —48
Dimond 8 18 7 28 —61
Juneau-Douglas (48) — Kelly 18, Watts 12, Bohulano
7, Swofford 7, Bradley 2, Hamrick 2
Dimond (61) — Parker 13, Hopkins 12, Gates-Magnuson
6, Boese 6, Jenkins 6
Free throws — Juneau-Douglas 3-4, Dimond 18-35
3-point goals — Juneau-Douglas 1, Dimond 5
Team fouls — Juneau-Douglas 25, Dimond 11
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