In the opening battle of the First Year A.C. (After Chuck, After Carlos), East Anchorage overwhelmed Juneau-Douglas 70-40 at the Alaska Hoops Challenge in Colony Thursday.
The Thunderbirds, in their first year without legendary coach Chuck White, seemed little different from last season's state-title squad. East (6-2) threw numerous presses at the young Crimson Bears, and got off to an 8-1 start. Juneau's James Severin hit a 3-pointer and post Rick Carte put back a shot to make it 8-6, but East cranked out a 13-3 run to end the quarter and cruised to the win.
Juneau coach George Houston said East's full-court pressure caused the Crimson Bears - who are in their first season without current Duke University freshman center Carlos Boozer - to play tentative in the first half.
``You can't play that way. If you do, (the pressure) just increases,'' Houston said. ``We did everything we could to prepare for it but a number of the guys had never seen it.''
The Thunderbirds increased their lead to 39-21 at halftime, then Carte rolled an ankle in the third quarter and had to leave the game. Houston said Carte's ankle began swelling as soon as he reached the bench, and the 6-foot-5 senior spent the rest of the game with an ice bag. An X-ray Thursday revealed no broken bones, but Houston said Carte was doubtful for the rest of the tournament.
``He's a big physical presence,'' Houston said. ``Certainly we missed him out there.''
Senior Evan Tromble led Juneau with 14 points. Severin canned two 3-pointers for six, and Clay Brown finished with five.
T-Bird point guard Brandon Edwards scored six of his gamehigh 15 points during the firstquarter run. Juron Macon scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Bobby Bowling also had 11, and 6-foot-7 center Ari ZandmanZehman had 10.
Tonight, Juneau meets the host Colony Knights at 8 p.m. Colony - which defeated West Anchorage 62-45 Thursday - also plays an aggressive and physical full-court pressure game.
``In a word, they hustle,'' Houston said. ``They play straight-up man-to-man pressure, they like to deny the in-bounds pass, and they try and trap you over mid-court.
``We're going to be tested again tonight,'' Houston said.
With Carte out, Houston said Tromble will play forward, with Severin and Ryan Monagle joining him on the front line. Tromble - the Crimson Bear's jack-of-alltrades - had been primarily playing guard, but forward is his natural position. Brown and senior John Blasco will start at guard.
Juneau concluded the trip against West at 5 p.m. Saturday.
``It's good for the kids to go through this,'' Houston said. ``If we learn from it, it'll be worth the experience. If we don't, it's going to be a long season.''
THUNDERBIRDS 70 CRIMSON BEARS 40
At the Cottonwood Creek Mall Alaska Hoops Challenge at Colony High School
Joe Ayers 2 0-0 4, Ryan Monagle 0 1-2 1, Clay Brown 2 0-0 5, Curtis Lane 1 0-1 3, Evan Tromble 6 1-3 14, James Severin 2 0-0 6, Rick Carte 1 1-2 3, Jon Chapman 2 0-0 4, John Blasco 0 0-0 0, Leon Bus 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 3-8 40.
EAST ANCHORAGE (70)
Steve Moss 0 0-1 0, Jevon Miller 4 1-2 9, Brandon Edwards 7 1-2 15, Ricky Brown 1 2-2 4, Peter Bullock 3 0-0 6, Juron Macon 4 0-0 11, Ari Zandman-Zeman 4 2-2 10, Tom Marriage 2 0-0 4, Bobby Bowling 5 0-0 11. Totals: 30 6-9 70.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 9 12 9 10 - 40
EAST ANCHORAGE 21 18 15 16 - 46
3-point goals - Juneau-Douglas 5 (Severin 2, Tromble 1, Lane 1, Brown 1), East Anchorage 4 (Macon 3, Bowling 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Juneau-Douglas 14, East Anchorage 14.