Juneau-Douglas boys take two from Service

Crimson Bears extend their winning streak to five games with sweep

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2006

A big first half propelled the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team to a 74-53 win over Service on Saturday.

The Crimson Bears (10-2) defeated the Cougars 58-55 on Friday. JDHS has won its last five games.

On Saturday, JDHS raced out to a 38-23 first half lead and coasted to victory.

"I thought we rebounded much better," Crimson Bears coach George Houston said. "Particularly, Clae Baker rebounded well in the first half. Overall, as a team I thought we rebounded a little better in the first."

Bears sharpshooter Scott Lesh made sure the lead stood in the second half.

Lesh scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half and made three 3-pointers overall.

"That gave us a huge lift," Houston said of Lesh's scoring. "That's something that's really going to be important for us to have, for him to come off the bench and be able to play like that. He has that ability and hopefully he can sustain that."

Juneau-Douglas held a 56-40 lead before clearing its bench late in the fourth quarter.

Will Egolf posted 18 points for the Crimson Bears and Baker added 10.

"He's starting to play much more forcefully," Houston said of Egolf. "Tonight, he was much more active."

Ryan Fagerstrom scored six points, Faifo Levale and Ryan Larson had five points each and Luke Miller scored four points for the Bears.

Saturday's blowout win greatly contrasted Friday's victory, which went down to the final seconds.

Miller's two free throws with 31 seconds left in regulation helped JDHS to an unlikely 58-55 win over Service.

The two points put Juneau ahead 57-55, before Tres Saldivar extended the Bears' lead to three points with another foul shot.

The Cougars' Nash Cotton had an open 3-point attempt as time expired, but the shot sailed long and gave Juneau-Douglas the win.

"Luckily we squeezed it out," Egolf said on Friday. "Obviously we didn't play very well tonight."

"We were outplayed for three quarters," Houston added.

Service dominated the offensive glass, as well as the transition game, for most of the night.

Marcus Lowe led the Cougars with a team-high 12 points. He was the most outstanding of several Service players who recorded numerous steals and offensive rebounds throughout the game.

Service used its quickness to open up an early 18-10 lead in the second quarter.

"Service definitely created a lot of problems for us match-up wise," Houston said.

The Bears counteracted Service's speed and agility by utilizing their height.

Extensive use of 6-foot-5 Baker and 6-7 Egolf began to take effect and helped minimize the Cougars' athleticism in the game's later stages.

JDHS trailed 28-21 after halftime and found itself down 45-36 after three quarters before the Bears took control.

Hard inside play and several blocked shots by Baker and Egolf began to revive the large crowd at the JDHS gym.

"They (Baker and Egolf) were huge down the stretch," Houston said.

The Crimson Bears quickly closed the gap and took a 52-51 lead with 2:20 left in regulation. It was the Bears' first lead since 2-0 in the first quarter.

Service came back to take a 53-52 lead, but Baker put JDHS ahead with two free throws.

Miller's free throws capped a 19-6 game-ending run for the victorious Bears.

"Our guys played with a lot of heart tonight," Miller said. "But we still need more consistency."

Miller and Egolf led JDHS with 14 points each. Baker had 11 points, and Fagerstrom scored 10 for Juneau.

The Crimson Bears open Southeast Conference play on Jan. 20 with two games at Sitka.

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com

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