The Juneau-Douglas boys' basketball team used strong defensive play to bring home the championship from the Golden Heart tournament at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks.
The Crimson Bears had success limiting their opponents' field goal percentages throughout the tournament, something they've struggled with during their previous game, a loss to North Pole.
"The most notable difference between some of our earlier games, our game with North Pole and then the tournament was our field goal percentage defense," said Steve Potter, head coach of the Bears. "North Pole shot 51 percent against us and that's pretty close to what everyone had been shooting. But, Eielson shot 39 percent, Lathrop shot 22 percent and (Tikigaq from) Point Hope shot in the low-40s (percentage-wise). We're not a super high-powered offense right now so it's important we make it difficult for people to score against us."
Potter said the team is doing a better job staying in front of people defensively rather than gambling and reaching for the ball.
"We did a better job of committing to doing the work and moving our feet. It looks flashy when someone reaches in and pops out a steal, but really it's a high-risk, high-reward situation," he said. "If you reach and miss, then you're probably giving up a lay-up or an open shot."
Alex DeRocher earned tournament MVP honors averaging nearly 20 points per game, while Colin Gozelski averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds per game earning himself a spot on the All-Tournament team. DeRocher hit seven 3-pointers in the final game of the tournament on his way to 30 points.