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Outside opponents trounce Bear boys

Juneau hopes to learn from its losses

Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Juneau-Douglas High School basketball team got taken to school by a pair of nationally ranked prep schools this weekend.

But the Crimson Bears hope the lessons learned will help them progress into the state tournament later this season.

"That's the whole idea of playing them," Juneau coach George Houston said. "We certainly hope playing very athletic and talented teams will help later on, but the proof is in the pudding. Our focus now is next weekend with Ketchikan."

The Juneau boys lost 79-45 to Laurinburg Institute of North Carolina on Friday and 85-41 to National Christian Academy of Fort Washington, Md., on Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Eagle Classic at West Anchorage High School. On Thursday, Juneau lost 70-39 to defending Class 4A state champion West Anchorage to open the tournament.

In Saturday's finale, Laurinburg beat West 96-74 to win the title. On Friday, West upset NCA 70-64 in overtime, and on Thursday Laurinburg beat NCA 85-78 to open the tourney. Kyle Huntsman, who came in off the bench, was the only Juneau player to make the all-tournament team.

Both Lower 48 teams are among the top fifth-year prep schools in the nation, so the Crimson Bears weren't expecting to win. But Juneau (3-4 overall, 1-3 on the four-game road trip) did want to show improvement, especially after being blown out by West on Thursday.

"We never stopped competing, and from that standpoint I'm happy," Houston said of the weekend.

In Friday's game, Juneau actually took a 16-14 lead over Laurinburg at the end of the first quarter as sophomore forwards Clae Baker and Will Egolf both started off well.

The Crimson Bears led 20-18 in the second quarter when 6-foot-11 Laurinburg center Chris Johnson tied the score. Then Troy Jackson entered the game and ignited a 20-0 Tiger run by scoring 10 points during a four-minute Juneau cold spell.

Luke Miller finally ended Juneau's dry spell with a pair of free throws just before the half as the Tigers took a 40-22 lead into the break. Laurinburg led by at least 20 points the rest of the game.

"They stepped it up another notch, and we weren't able to stay with them," Houston said. "They knocked down some big 3s."

Jackson scored 24 points - with four 3-pointers - to lead Laurinburg, while Elvis Lora had 11 points.

Egolf scored 15 points and grabbed several rebounds to lead the Crimson Bears, while Baker added 12 points. No other Juneau player scored more than four points. Houston said Egolf and Baker combined to shoot 13-for-23 from the floor, but the rest of the team shot just 10 percent.

On Saturday, Juneau was cold in its shooting and fell behind 8-0 before Scott Lesh came off the bench to score the next five points to make it 8-5 NCA. But the Eagles went on an 11-0 run before Baker scored to end the dry spell, and NCA led 21-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Eagles led 34-17 at halftime, and cruised from there as they took the lead over 30 points late in the third quarter.

Jessie Sapp scored 22 of his 30 points in the second half to lead the Eagles. Jimmy Conyers added 20 points for NCA, which had every player score.

Lesh scored 10 points to lead the Crimson Bears, while Baker added seven and Norman Zura scored six. Huntsman, Egolf and Larry Cooper added five points each for Juneau, which had eight of its 10 players score.

"Today we couldn't shoot," Houston said. "We had trouble all three games with their quickness and the pressure. Being able to shoot when they're applying pressure makes you look over your shoulder."

The Crimson Bears hit the road again this weekend, as they head to Ketchikan for a two-game series Friday and Saturday to open Southeast Conference-Class 4A play. Then, Juneau closes out the month with another road trip to Anchorage for the Sheri Stears Memorial Tournament Jan. 27-29 at Bartlett High School, giving the Crimson Bears nine straight road games in January.

Boxscores can be found on the Scoreboard below.

ALASKA AIRLINES

EAGLE CLASSIC

NCA EAGLES 85,

CRIMSON BEARS 41

Saturday's boys game from West Anchorage

NATIONAL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (85) - Andrew Allen 0 1-2 1, Trevor Brown 1 0-0 3, Demetrius Landy 2 3-4 8, Jessie Sapp 12 5-5 30, Ryan Burts 2 0-0 4, Jimmy Conyers 8 2-2 20, Branden Doughty 1 0-0 2, Anthony McClain 0 2-3 2, Jacquan Liles 2 3-4 7, Wilber O'Neal 3 2-6 8. Totals: 31 18-26 85.

JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (41) - Larry Cooper 1 2-4 5, Norman Zura 2 2-2 6, Tom Derbesy 0 0-0 0, Tres Saldivar 0 1-2 1, Luke Miller 1 0-0 2, Ryan Fagerstrom 0 0-0 0, Scott Lesh 3 3-4 10, Kyle Huntsman 2 0-0 5, Clae Baker 2 3-6 7, Will Egolf 2 1-2 5. Totals: 13 12-20 41.

NAT'L CHRIST'N 21 13 27 24 - 85

JUNEAU 8 9 12 12 - 41

3-point goals - National Christian 5 (Conyers 2, Brown 1, Landy 1, Sapp 1), Juneau-Douglas 3 (Cooper 1, Lesh 1, Huntsman 1). Fouled out - National Christian 0, Juneau-Douglas 1 (Egolf). Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - National Christian 19, Juneau-Douglas 16.

TIGERS 79,

CRIMSON BEARS 45

Friday's boys game from West Anchorage

LAURINBURG INSTITUTE (79) - Elvis Lora 4 1-3 11, Mundrell Young 2 1-2 5, Ricardo Escheverria 4 2-2 10, Kyle Wakefield 2 3-4 7, Antwan Garfield 0 0-2 0, Greg Grimes 2 2-2 6, Chris Johnson 5 0-0 10, Troy Jackson 10 0-2 24, Reshard Ward 2 0-0 4, Jawan Davis 1 0-0 2. Totals: 32 9-17 79.

JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (45) - Larry Cooper 0 2-2 2, Norman Zura 0 0-0 0, Tom Derbesy 0 4-5 4, Tres Saldivar 0 0-0 0, Luke Miller 1 2-2 4, Ryan Fagerstrom 0 0-0 0, Scott Lesh 1 1-2 4, Clae Baker 6 0-2 12, Will Egolf 7 1-2 15. Totals: 17 10-15 45.

LAURINBURG 14 26 19 20 - 79

JUNEAU 16 6 9 14 - 45

3-point goals - Laurinburg Institute 6 (Jackson 4, Lora 2), Juneau-Douglas 1 (Lesh 1). Fouled out - Laurinburg Institute 1 (Grimes), Juneau-Douglas 0. Technical fouls - Laurinburg Institute 1 (Johnson 1), Juneau-Douglas 0. Total fouls - Laurinburg Institute 16, Juneau-Douglas 14.



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