The shoe was on the other foot for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team on Thursday.
One day after the Crimson Bears doubled-up Palmer, they were routed 70-39 by the defending Class 4A state champion West Eagles in the first round of the inaugural Alaska Airlines Eagle Classic at West Anchorage High School.
The Crimson Bears fell to 3-2 with the loss, which came one day after they opened a four-game road trip with a 74-37 victory over Palmer. Now Juneau has to play two teams that are ranked among the nation's top fifth-year prep schools.
Juneau plays Laurinburg Institute of North Carolina at 6 p.m. today, then takes on National Christian Academy of Fort Washington, Md., at 6 p.m. on Saturday to close out the tournament. In Thursday's early tournament game, Laurinburg beat NCA 85-78.
"I'm OK with it as long as the kids compete and get better, and I think they're competitors," Juneau coach George Houston said of the loss. "It's not going to be any different the next two nights. It's good to have to play these games, because if we desire to get into state we're going to have to handle West's pressure."
The Eagles used a full-court press to limit the Crimson Bears to just two field goals in the first half, taking leads of 21-5 at the end of the first quarter and 35-13 at halftime. The Juneau players did better in the second half - they were outscored 35-26 - but still had too many turnovers, Houston said.
"A lot of our guys haven't seen that kind of pressure, and you have to see it before you can learn how to deal with it," Houston said. "On top of the pressure, we just didn't play that well. But that's what happens with the pressure, you get flustered and out of rhythm and when things go bad they just mushroom from there."
Ramon Harris scored 14 points to lead West (9-1 overall). Deray Wilson added 13 points, Jordan Jamestown scored 10 points for the Eagles and Gerald Johnson chipped in nine.
Tom Derbesy was the only Juneau player to reach double digits, scoring six of his 10 points in the fourth quarter. Clae Baker came off the bench and scored six of his seven points in the second half, while Ryan Fagerstrom and Scott Lesh both had six points off the bench.
Juneau's starters combined for just 18 points, while the bench players had 21. But Houston said there were some things the starters did that don't show up in the scorebook. For example, even though starting center Will Egolf only had one point, Houston said he had four or five blocks and was active on defense. He also said Baker battled hard at forward.
Tonight the Crimson Bears take on Laurinburg, which is ranked No. 1 in the Jan. 3 HoopsUSA.com poll for fifth-year prep schools. Houston said the Tigers don't press as much as West, but Laurinburg and NCA on Saturday will still be a challenge.
"They're both talented teams with a lot of fifth-year guys, and they look older," Houston said.
JDHS BOYS BASKETBALL
EAGLES 70, CRIMSON BEARS 39
Thursday's boys boxscore from West Anchorage
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (39) - Larry Cooper 1 0-0 2, Norman Zura 0 0-0 0, Tom Derbesy 3 4-4 10, Tres Saldivar 0 1-2 1, Luke Miller 1 2-4 4, Ryan Fagerstrom 1 4-7 6, Scott Lesh 2 0-0 6, Kyle Huntsman 0 2-4 2, Clae Baker 3 1-2 7, Will Egolf 0 1-2 1. 11 15-25 39.
WEST ANCHORAGE (70) - Jordan Jamestown 4 2-5 10, Gerald Johnson 4 1-1 9, LeRaun Robinson 1 0-0 2, Brandon Canady 0 0-0 0, Phillip Hearn 2 0-0 4, Daniel Tomlin 0 1-4 1, Brian Hurn 0 0-0 0, Shane Coffey 0 1-2 1, Remy Martin 3 1-4 7, Ramon Harris 5 4-4 14, Deray Wilson 6 0-0 13, Jay Davis 3 0-0 6, Andre Williams 0 0-0 0, J.C. Snead 1 0-0 3. Totals: 29 10-20 70.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 5 8 14 12 - 39
WEST ANCHORAGE 21 14 18 17 - 70
3-point goals - Juneau-Douglas 2 (Lesh 2), West Anchorage 2 (Wilson 1, Snead 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Juneau-Douglas 15, West Anchorage 25.
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