Nothing came easy Friday night for the Thunder Mountain Falcons — not even lay ups. TMHS recorded its lowest point total of the season and Colby Hoover powered Juneau-Douglas to a 46-40 win.
“They came to our court [on] homecoming, they beat us, so we wanted to get our revenge,” Juneau-Douglas High School forward Erik Kelly said, referencing TMHS’s 49-48, 71-61 wins in early February.
Hoover had 14 points for JDHS, the only Crimson Bear to reach double digits on a night when both teams struggled to score. Ulyx Bohulano scored 9 points, and Jordan Milligan, who started in place of Kasey Watts, finished with 8.
The Falcons’ normally high scoring backcourt of Noah Reishus-O’Brien and Chase Saviers combined for just 10 points, thanks to strong defense by Hoover and Bohulano.
“You have to give all the credit to JD’s defense. I honestly believe that they took us out of our game from the very tip. We never could never get an offense going and that’s all to the credit of JD’s defense,” TMHS coach John Blasco said.
No other Falcon picked up the scoring slack either.
JDHS opened the game on a 6-1 run but trailed 7-6 after the first quarter.
As JDHS’s offense slowly gained momentum in the second quarter, Thunder Mountain’s remained at a standstill.
Despite only scoring eight points in the second quarter, the Falcons only trailed just 21-15 at halftime.
JDHS was not able to pull away with the game in the third quarter as they turned the ball over multiple times. Zeb Storie’s lay up after one such turnover cut the deficit to two points, 29-27, with two minutes left in the quarter. JDHS led 33-30 going into the fourth quarter after Bohulano made a last second, hanging jump shot just inside the free throw line.
Kelly has noticed Bohulano and the other guards on the team improve their play.
“Our handling with the ball has definitely went up. Our guards have stepped their game up from the beginning of the season, they’re attacking the glass more, getting more rebounds, and that’s what I would say we were lacking at the beginning,” he said.
JDHS made just nine of 10 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, but staved off a Falcon’s comeback anyway.
Thunder Mountain’s upset of JDHS falls just short
Thunder Mountain girls basketball coach Chandler Christensen said Friday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School one of the best her team has played all season, and it wasn’t hard to see why.
TMHS scored its second highest point total of the season and played as a team, but Cassie Dzinich fueled a 8-2 fourth quarter run to give her Crimson Bears a 49-42 victory.
Both Juneau teams saw strong performances out of their respective point guards. Thunder Mountain’s Cyrene Uddipa helped orchestra a Falcon’s offense that was as efficient as its been all season. Uddipa led all Falcons in scoring with 16 points. Charlee Lewis had 10 points and Nina Fenumiai 11 for TMHS.
“We came out with some good intensity, I think we were hitting some nice shots, hitting our free throws, playing good defense,” TMHS coach Chandler Christensen said.
On the other end of the floor, JDHS’ Alyxn Bohulano, who played extra minutes in place of Kendyl Carson’s absence (out for season due to unspecified disciplinary reason), played her typical gritty style - diving on loose balls and attacking the rim with fearlessness.
Bohulano had 9 points behind Caitlin Pusich’s 16 and Dzinich’s 14 total points.
Thunder Mountain lead 26-25 at the half, but scored just nine and seven respective points in the last two quarters.
“Our defensive intensity wasn’t exactly where we wanted it at the end of the game, nor was our offense, but probably one of the best games we’ve played,” Christensen said.
Nina Fenumiai agreed with her coach and was proud of her team’s effort.
“We’ve been preparing for this for a long time … and it’s just great that we came out before regions and played our hearts out,” Fenumiai said.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.