The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team seized control of the Southeast Conference this weekend with two wins over visiting Ketchikan.
Sound off on the important issues at
The Crimson Bears improved to 4-0 in conference play with a 61-51 win Saturday and a 63-46 victory Friday.
"It's a good thing because now we're in the driver's seat for the conference," JDHS forward Clae Baker said. "We have the key."
Baker led all scorers Saturday with 17 points. He also added five rebounds in the win.
The Crimson Bears (8-3, 4-0 Southeast) trailed 20-18 at halftime but mounted a comeback.
Dominique Brinson and Ryan Larson hit 3-pointers and Ketchikan's Trevor Norton fouled out as JDHS went up 38-35 after three quarters.
Ketchikan (9-4, 0-2) responded as Matt Boyd knocked down his third 3-point shot early in the fourth. Boyd fouled out seconds later, however, as did 6-foot-9 center Damen Bell-Holter.
"That plays a big factor especially when Matt fouled out because he's such a floor general out there," Ketchikan coach Doug Nausid said of his team's foul trouble. "We have some young kids that had a harder time executing, and Matt is always a threat from the outside."
Robert Beierly added 11 points, Larson scored nine points while Will Egolf posted nine points, five rebounds and four blocked shots on his birthday.
Juneau-Douglas appeared poised to blow Ketchikan out early in the second quarter as Nico Saldivar's 3-pointer gave the Bears an 18-12 lead. Bell-Holter also picked up his third foul and sat the bench for the rest of the first half.
Despite having their 6-foot-9 center in foul trouble, Ketchikan's guards responded with tough defense and a trapping 2-3 zone.
The Kings ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 20-18 halftime lead.
In the second half, JDHS used its depth to put Kayhi away.
Bryan Combs, Saldivar, Faifo Levale, Sam Clark, Beierly and Brinson all provided quality minutes off the bench in the win.
Cameron Cook scored just three points but pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
"We've got a lot of guys," JDHS coach Steve Potter said. "Beierly hit some big shots and that was part of the spark. We're playing together."
For Ketchikan, Bell-Holter had 12 points and five blocks and Boyd scored a team-high 14 points.
Friday's 63-48 win couldn't have gone much better for the Crimson Bears.
JDHS started quick, ended strong and received a monstrous performance from Egolf in the win. The 6-foot-9 senior exploded for 33 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the win. Egolf, who committed to NCAA Division I school Bradley University earlier this year, knocked down two of three 3-point shots but did most of his damage inside, throwing down three thunderous dunks to electrify an already raucous crowd.
"That's the kid that Bradley wanted right there," Potter said Friday. "That's seven games in a row he's played like that. I think that's the way it's going to be."
Holding a tenuous 41-35 lead after three quarters, JDHS put the game away by attacking the paint.
Egolf scored 13 points in the fourth and Larson added a back-breaking 3-pointer to quell the Kings. Larson scored 11 points and hit 4 of 6 free throws.
Friday's contest had the feel of a title bout event as fans packed the gym midway though the junior varsity contest. A triple-overtime JV thriller delayed Friday's tip off by about 40 minutes and only seemed to heighten the anticipation.
The fans weren't disappointed as Ketchikan's heralded junior, Bell-Holter, scored the game's first four points and added an emphatic blocked shot.
Bell-Holter led the Kings with 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
The junior's early success sparked JDHS. Egolf responded by throwing down an alley-oop pass from Saldivar and tying the score at 4-4 on a nifty reverse lay-up by Bell-Holter.
Juneau-Douglas led 18-14 after the first quarter and held a 30-24 advantage at halftime. Though JDHS seemed to be getting the big plays, Ketchikan stayed close by doing the little things well.
Kayhi hit 15 of 18 free throws in the first three quarters to stay close. Ketchikan cooled late, however, knocking down just 5 of 10 in the final eight minutes.
"We fouled a lot the whole game," Larson said. "They were hitting their free throws. In the fourth quarter we just stepped it up."
JDHS 61, Ketchikan 51
JDHS 9 9 20 33 - 61
Kayhi 10 10 15 16 - 51
JDHS (61) - Brinson 3, Saldivar 6, Larson 9, Beierly 11, Cook 3, Baker 17, Egolf 9, Levale 3.
Ketchikan (51) - Boyd 14, Yonker 9, P. Manabat 6, Scudero 2, Bezenek 4, Norton 2, Gibson 2, Bell-Holter 12.
JDHS 63, Ketchikan 46
JDHS 18 12 11 22 - 63
Kayhi 14 10 11 11 - 46
JDHS (63) - Brinson 2, Saldivar 3, Larson 11, Beierly 3, Cook 5, Baker 6, Egolf 33.
Ketchikan (46) - Boyd 9, Pihl 1, Yonker 2, Scudero 2, Bezenek 8, Norton 3, Bell-Holter 21.
Fouled out - None.