The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team led Ketchikan by nine points at the beginning of the fourth quarter Wednesday night at JDHS.
When playing the Kings — that’s far from a safe lead.
Just five days prior, the Crimson Bears held an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter against the same opponent only to lose by five points.
“Believe me, that (game) was mentioned,” JDHS head coach Robert Casperson said. “And I didn’t have to mention it in the huddle going into the fourth quarter. The guys were very aware of what happened Friday night down there and how we gave up that lead and how Ketchikan fought back. So they were very aware and what we tried to do is learn from that.”
The team certainly has learned from the game. The Crimson Bears (10-12, 3-4 SEC) not only maintained their fourth-quarter lead, they widened it to win 59-41 in their second-to-last regular season game.
After scoring all 13 of his team’s first-quarter points, Kayhi junior guard Marcus Lee went to the bench early in the second quarter.
Senior Kolby Hoover took it as his cue to heat up. Starting at 5:06 left in the second quarter, the lanky guard scored nine straight points in under two minutes. Hoover’s 3-pointer with a little over three minutes left in the half put JDHS up 18-17.
And that was just the beginning.
Hoover would go on to score 18 more points in the game to finish with 28 total.
“I just wanted to do something special for my teammates, to try to work hard and keep attacking the basket when I started feeling it,” Hoover said.
After scoring three points in the first half, senior Erik Kelly added 15 in the second half to finish with 18.
Marcus Lee (28 points) was back on the court to start the second half for the Kings — who trailed at that point 25-20. The junior scored seven straight points in the first few minutes of the half and his floater with 5:15 left in the third quarter brought the Kings within five points.
The junior would cool off from that point on, scoring just six more points the rest of the way. His teammates didn’t pick up the slack, either. Younger brother Chris Lee, a sophomore, was the only other Kings player with a field goal in the second half.
“(Marcus) doesn’t miss very often when he gets to his spots,” Casperson said. “So we tried to work pretty hard to make him shoot over the top of us.”
Hoover complemented his fellow guards for their defense on Marcus Lee and the other Kayhi guards.
“I think that was just a good job by guys like Is (Israel Yadao) and John (Hamrick) and Gammy (Reyes), they just worked their butts off and it made it a lot easier for us down low,” Hoover said.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.