The Juneau-Douglas boys’ basketball team rebounded from its first loss of the season Thursday to finish second in the 44th Annual Joe Floyd/Era Aviation Winter Classic Basketball Tournament at Kodiak High School.
The Crimson Bears rolled to a 75-54 win over host Kodiak, meaning three teams finished the tourney with one loss. JDHS thought a 20-point win would earn it the tournament crown, but that turned out not to be the case.
“We were under the impression that if we won by 20 we would win the tiebreaker,” JDHS coach Steve Potter said. “However, they reinterpreted the rule for the point differential and so we got second. But either way, we went into the game with a goal to try and get that differential and we got it.”
JDHS ran to a 15-8 lead in the first quarter but led by just four, 34-30, at the half.
“We had a shaky end to the first half,” Potter said. “They went on a 6-0 run and we lost our focus a little bit. But we got back together, got down to business and really started looking inside again. That softened things up and we got a little bit more movement out of our wings, which created some more opportunities.”
A 20-10 run through the third quarter blew the game open, and the Crimson Bears outscored the Bears 21-14 in the fourth.
Potter said it was an up-and-down game throughout.
“It was really our first chance to play in a game where there were a lot of shot opportunities,” he said. “There were a lot of possessions and we were much better about going inside. We weren’t perfect, but we were much better. I think we’ve grown a little bit each game, but we’re still not a finished product. But I think we’re starting to understand that sometimes, the best thing you can do is make a hard cut or quickly pass the ball.
“You don’t have to make great plays all the time. Make basketball plays first, and then great things will happen.”
Junior guard Tony Yadao hit five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 27 points. Senior big man Ryan Baldwin added 20 points for Juneau-Douglas.
JDHS knocked off West Valley for the second time of the season on Friday, 56-51, this time on the second day of the tournament.
The Crimson Bears led 11-6 after the first quarter and 40-30 after the third. West Valley’s fourth-quarter rally came up short as JDHS held on behind 14 points from sophomore point guard Lance Ibesate, and 10 from senior forward De’Andre “Jazz” King.
Luke Carson, who did not play when Juneau-Douglas defeated West Valley in the Capital City Classic championship game, made three 3-pointers and totalled 17 points for the Wolfpack.
Juneau-Douglas held a big advantage at the free throw line, making 19 of 27 compared to just 6 of 9 for West Valley.
The Crimson Bears (5-1) host Sitka on Thursday before opening Southeast Conference play Friday at Thunder Mountain.
TMHS girls beat Mt.
The Thunder Mountain girls picked up their third win of the season Saturday with a 54-49 defeat of Mt. Edgecumbe.
The Falcons finished the 44th Annual Joe Floyd/Era Aviation Winter Classic Basketball Tournament at Kodiak High School with a 1-2 record after a 55-29 loss to West Valley on Friday, and a 43-25 loss to Kodiak on Thursday in their tourney opener.
“Our guards stepped up and controlled the tempo of the game,” TMHS coach Tanya Nizich said of the Falcons’ win over the Braves. “We kept our turnovers down and pressured them full court for 32 minutes. We had great energy from the start and managed to keep that energy and intensity all game. Everyone played a very important role in (Saturday’s) win.”
“It was a fast-paced game and every point they got, they had to earn,” Kylie Ibias added.
The Falcons rallied from a 28-26 halftime deficit with a 13-8 run in the third quarter, and then scored 15 more in the fourth while holding the Braves to 13.
“We had a lot of intensity and stepped it up from the last two games,” sophomore point guard Eyerus Tingley said of the Falcons’ throughout the tournament.
Jonelle Staveland led the way with 17 points, including three baskets from beyond the arc. Katie Tarver scored 15, and made 6 of 8 free throws. Tingley scored 9 and Ibias five.
Makayla Pierce scored two points, but Nizich credited her for crashing the boards.
“I definitely learned a lot today,” Pierce said. “You always have to be aggressive on the court, you have to play smart and communication is key.”
By the time Thunder Mountain got rolling Friday against West Valley, it was too little, too late.
The Wolfpack led TMHS 20-5 at the half, and Thunder Mountain closed the gap with a 14-8 run in the fourth quarter.
“We had a rough start in the first half,” Nizich admitted. “We were not looking to attack the basket and we passed up too many outside shots. Seeing what we did in the third quarter tells us that we are more than capable of doing that in each and every quarter of every game we play.”
Thunder Mountain (3-5) hosts Eagle River Friday and Saturday.
Falcon boys explode for 92 points in win
Thunder Mountain’s boys’ basketball team had a rough go over the first two days of the Golden Heart Basketball Tournament at Lathrop High School, but the Falcons exploded for 92 points in a 92-40 win over Angoon on Saturday.
Thunder Mountain dropped its tourney opener, 73-51 to host Lathrop on Friday, though the Malemutes were forced to forfeit the game due to using an ineligible player, so the Falcons ended up finishing second in the tourney.
Monroe Catholic rolled to a 63-22 win over TMHS on Friday, but the Falcons caught fire Saturday in scoring a school-record number of points.
“It was a good way to end the tournament,” TMHS coach John Blasco said. “The guys played really well together and I would be surprised if we had less than 15 assists. Everybody was really looking for each other and played hard.
“We played great defense the whole game.”
The Falcons led 19-11 after the first quarter and 44-16 at the break before going up 39, 71-32, at the end of the third.
“I think it comes down to looking for each other and giving (the ball) up as you get double(-teamed),” Blasco said of how his team was able to find its scoring punch. “Keith (Ainsworth) and Sam (Jahn) did a good job of once they got doubled, kicking it out to guys who were open, and we were able to knock down shots (Saturday).
“We gave up the ball ahead on fast breaks and played really unselfish basketball.”
Blasco said smallish Thunder Mountain was finally able to match up with a team as far as height.
“Angoon’s not very big and not very deep, but William Silva’s a very good player,” he said. “But we weren’t undermanned this time in terms of our size, for a change.”
Silva led all scorers with 24 points.
Matt Seymour led TMHS with 22 points, and Ty Grussendorf scored 15. Ainsworth, who made the All-Tournament team, and Jahn notched 11 points each, and everyone scored for the Falcons.
The Falcons host Mt. Edgecumbe on Thursday before opening conference play against Juneau-Douglas on Friday and Saturday.
JDHS girls find their stride
The defending 4A state champion Juneau-Douglas girls’ basketball team dropped its rematch of last year’s title game against Wasilla on Thursday, but bounced back Friday and Saturday with two big wins to improve to 7-1 on the year.
The Crimson Bears more than doubled up Colony on Thursday with a 43-21 win over the Knights, and then more than tripled up Palmer with a 63-20 win over the Moose on Saturday
Senior forwards Taylor Larson and Maria Weyhrauch led JDHS with 13 and nine points, respectively, Friday, and guard Nani Ostrom scored eight. Sarah Tarver, Hannah Swofford and Esra Siddeek each scored four.
The Bears rolled over Palmer 63-20 behind a stout defensive effort and good free throw shooting.
“We were 10-for-11 from the free throw line, and got up by 10 at the end of the first quarter and steadily increased our lead throughout the whole game,” JDHS coach Lesslie Knight said. “They were impressed with our defense and I thought we were pretty aggressive. We did a nice job and recovered from Wasilla and bounced back heavy and hard.”
Ostrom scored 15 points to lead the Bears, and Tarver added 14. Swofford scored 12 and Larson eight.
The Crimson Bears (7-1) open Southeast Conference play against Ketchikan on Friday in Juneau.
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