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Another slow start - and a physically imposing opponent - created a hurdle too high for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team.
The Crimson Bears fell to Lathrop 47-42 on Thursday on the opening day of the Lady T-Bird Classic at East Anchorage High School.
For the second straight night, Juneau found itself trailing at halftime. On Wednesday, the Crimson Bears lost at Wasilla.
"Both nights we had 14 points at halftime," Juneau coach Lesslie Knight said. "You can't win with 14 points in a half."
"We had a slow first half," said Juneau senior Heather Dillon, who scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers. "(We had) a strong second half, (but) they had a lot more height than we did."
That proved to be a key factor in the game, as the Malemutes, now 7-0 and ranked second in the state, were able to contain Juneau senior Tasha McKoy inside and keep Crimson Bear shooters off-balance.
McKoy still managed to grab nine rebounds and score 12 points to lead fifth-ranked Juneau (3-2), but seven of those points came from free throws. The Crimson Bears were 6 of 8 from 3-point range, but as a team they shot just over 20 percent from inside the arc.
The game was tied at 7-all after the first quarter before Lathrop jumped out to a 21-14 lead at the intermission. Lathrop's Alana Clooten scored eight of her game-high 17 points in the third quarter as the Malemutes built a 37-26 edge.
In the fourth, the Crimson Bears made a game of it as they climbed to within four points with less than two minutes to play. McKoy, junior Mary Rehfeld and freshman Talisa Rhea all hit 3s in the final period, but the Crimson Bears were forced to foul and Lathrop made enough free throws to stay ahead.
Kari Reabold chipped in 15 points, eight rebounds and six steals for the Malemutes.
Juneau continues play today with two games - at 2 p.m. against West Anchorage, and again at 8 p.m. against host East Anchorage.
East (3-7) had a bye on Thursday, while West (3-3) was routed 85-41 by Colony (4-2).
"We're going to work really hard to execute against West," Knight said, before moving on to the late game against perennial powerhouse East.
The Crimson Bears end the tournament and their trip with a game against Colony on Saturday evening.
After returning home, Juneau has some time off before hosting Dimond on Jan. 29 and Lathrop for homecoming games on Jan. 30-31.
MALEMUTES 47, CRIMSON BEARS 42
Thursday's girls boxscore from East Anchorage
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (42) - Alida Bus 1 0-0 2, Nicole Lupro 1 1-3 3, Kendri Cesar 2 0-0 4, Heather Dillon 4 0-0 11, Mary Rehfeld 2 0-0 5, Talisa Rhea 2 0-0 5, Tasha McKoy 2 7-8 12, Kate Potter 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 8-11 42.
LATHROP (47) - Krystal Tolliver 0 0-0 0, Haley Alexander 0 0-0 0, Angela Smith 0 0-0 0, Kari Reabold 4 6-10 15, Erika Stevens 4 1-4 9, Brittni Dixon-Smith 0 0-0 0, Alexis Vaught-Benzel 0 0-0 0, Kelly Donovan 0 1-2 1, Demi Wilson 0 0-0 0, Alana Clooten 8 1-3 17, Shanna Braun 0 0-0 0, Sheena Brown 1 0-0 2, Sade Powell 1 1-2 3. Totals: 18 10-21 47.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 7 7 12 16 - 42
LATHROP 7 14 16 10 - 47
3-point goals - Juneau-Douglas 6 (Dillon 3, Rehfeld 1, Rhea 1, McKoy 1), Lathrop 1 (Reabold 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Juneau-Douglas 17, Lathrop 9.