Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball took to the glass Wednesday to out-rebound visiting West Valley for their third win of the season.
JDHS’ twin peaks of 6-foot-5 Erik Kelly and 6-foot-7 Bryce Swofford controlled the boards on both sides of the ball, denying the Wolfpack — who like to shoot threes — many second-chance opportunities while garnering easy putbacks on offense in the 64-46 win.
Kelly and Swofford were a one-two punch on the score sheet with 20 and 19 points respectively; JDHS’ preliminary stats show Kelly gobbled up a staggering 25 rebounds.
The pair are a winning combination, especially against smaller teams who like to shoot.
“We were looking to work inside, definitely get our bigger guys some touches in there,” Swofford said. “I think it paid off, we played to our strengths.”
JDHS dominated the first quarter, limiting the Wolfpack to a single shot on every possession zero 3-point buckets. After a 14-6 opening frame, West Valley found their shot in the second, with senior guard Jaden Whiteside hitting three threes in as many minutes and flushing a pair of free throws to narrow the deficit to 18-16.
JDHS coach Robert Casperson said the Wolfpack “willed themselves” back into the game.
“They have some really good athletes and some kids with a lot of pride over there. They played really hard and started hitting some shots,” he said.
Another factor played into the Wolfpack’s brief comeback: JDHS wasn’t feeding their bigs.
“We got a little ahead of ourselves,” Swofford said. “We’re not too experienced yet.”
JDHS pushed their lead back to 35-28 by half.
“At halftime I talked about how we want to guard a couple of people, and if we can get the ball inside and attack them that way, they maybe have to look at a different lineup,” Casperson said.
West Valley was led in the defeat by Whiteside with 15, 11 of which came in the second quarter. Keon Campbell followed his lead with 10.
Sophomore guard John Hamrick followed Kelly and Swofford on the scoresheet with nine. Ulyx Bohulano, who had to step out briefly with a leg injury, added eight.
Coverage of JDHS’ second game against West Valley, played Thursday night, didn’t make Friday’s print deadline. Look for a game story at the Empire online at juneauempire.com.
CRIMSON BEARS 64, WOLFPACK 46
Juneau-Douglas 14 21 17 12 —64
West Valley 6 22 9 9 —46
Juneau-Douglas (64) — Kelly 20, Swofford 19, Hamrick
9, Bohulano 8, Mallinger 5, Milligan 3
West Valley (46) — Whiteside 15, Campbell 10, Fields-Colbert
8, Mingo Jr. 6, Keeton 3, Davis 2, Garcia 2
Free throws — Juneau-Douglas 13-20, West Valley 7-14
3-point goals — Juneau-Douglas 1, West Valley 1
Team fouls — Juneau-Douglas 13, West Valley 17