Juneau preps have rough time on the road

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011

Juneau-Douglas wrapped up a rough four-game road trip Saturday with a 44-38 win over Ketchikan in the seventh-place game of the 2011 Alaska Prep Shootout at Dimond High School.

The Crimson Bears opened the road swing Wednesday with a 71-47 loss at West Anchorage before dropping the first two games of the Prep Shootout. Palmer beat JDHS 58-51 in the tourney opener Thursday, and then host Dimond beat Juneau-Douglas 42-30 on Friday.

Against a familiar foe in Ketchikan, the Bears finally got back on track, though it took two quarters for things to get moving in the right direction.

The Kings jumped to an 11-2 lead by the end of the first quarter and led 22-11 at the half.

“We were in danger of getting shut out for the first quarter. (Alec) Calloway got a steal with about three seconds left and laid it up when the buzzer went off so we could actually score,” JDHS coach Steve Potter said. “It was a pretty ugly first half but we were able to dial up our pressure in the second half, and they had a little bit of a hard time with it.”

JDHS rallied in the third quarter with a 22-7 stretch that saw the Bears claim the lead heading into the fourth and JDHS held on, outscoring Ketchikan 11-9 over the final eight minutes.

“We were able to get them into the open floor and apply pressure,” Potter said of the turnaround. “We just had to get after guys. We don’t match up with them well because they’re all really small, and we were tentative at the beginning of the game. All of the struggles we’ve had seemed to be magnified by that, but we finally calmed down and started playing, and we were able to reverse the ship.”

The shorter Kings actually outrebounded the Bears 29-23, but Potter said a good chunk of that difference came in the first quarter.

“We didn’t rebound particularly well and there were a lot of missed free throws (for Ketchikan), and that kind of skewed the rebounding numbers a little bit. They shoot long shots, and that leads to crazy rebounds sometimes. And we just haven’t developed our blocking out to the level that it needs to be.”

Senior Colin Gozelski led JDHS with 11 points and three steals, while sophomore Lance Ibesate scored 10 points along with three assists and four steals. Eddie Hurtte added eight points and Phillip Fenumiai seven points and five rebounds. A key for JDHS was its free throw shooting, where the Bears made 11 of 14 to the Kings’ 6 of 14. The underlying theme of the road swing for Juneau-Douglas again was its horrid 3-point shooting. The Bears made 1 of 10 against Ketchikan, and just 2 of 26 in the tournament.

“We’ve just been really tentative on offense,” Potter said. “We’re getting good shots but we’re not making them, so there’s a little bit of uncertainty whether we should be taking them. We’re doing the things we need to do, we just need to start making shots.”

Potter said the Bears “struggled mightily” Friday against Dimond’s 2-3 zone as JDHS scored just four points in both the second and third quarters. The Bears also were outrebounded 34-29, and the Lynx scored 12 points off 15 JDHS turnovers.

“Our defense kept the game close, but being unable to score prevented us from coming back,” he said via e-mail. “This was also the first game of the year we were outrebounded.”

Ibesate and Fenumiai each scored six points to lead JDHS (9-4), and the Bears have a rematch with the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves on Thursday at 6:30 in Juneau. The Braves were the first team to defeat the Bears this season.

Ibesate was the lone JDHS representative on the All-Tournament team.

TMHS girls go 0-3 in T-Bird Classic

Thunder Mountain went 0-3 in the 26th Annual T-Bird Classic girls’ basketball tournament at East High School after dropping two tight games Friday and Saturday.

Seward rolled to a 50-30 win over TMHS on Thursday in the tourney opener but Thursday and Friday were a different story. East pulled out a 53-46 win over the Falcons on the tourney’s second day, and Grace Christian edged Thunder Mountain 38-36 in a game Saturday that went down to the wire.

The Falcons led the Grizzlies 9-8 after the first quarter but trailed 23-17 at the half.

“We had a short period of time where we struggled with passes but we made it up in the second half,” sophomore Kylie Ibias said.

The Falcons rallied with a 9-4 run in the third quarter to trail by one heading into the fourth.

TMHS called timeout with 18 seconds left, trailing 37-36. Coach Tanya Nizich drew up a play and sophomore Katie Tarver drove to the basket. Nizich said there was a lot of contact but no call, and the ball went out of bounds back to Grace with six seconds left.

The Grizzlies made one free throw, and TMHS turned it over on the ensuing play with time running out.

It was the first game in school history that came down to the final buzzer for the Falcons, and Nizich said the team handled itself admirably.

“I can’t believe how well they handled being in a situation like that,” she said. “Usually, teams get flustered and make errors just because they’re under so much pressure. Today, we gained our composure and as it got more intense, we calmed down that much more. It was a relief to see us not panic.”

The one bugaboo for the Falcons was missed lay-ups.

“Lay-ups, in general, you can’t miss, and it could have really made a difference in the final score,” Nizich said. “We missed a lot of lay-ups.”

Ibias was named Player of the Game for TMHS after getting eight points, six steals and taking two charges. Melissa Fisher led the Falcons with nine points, Tarver had eight and Jonelle Staveland six. Shale Kibby and Janie White each had five rebounds for TMHS.

“Every player played a part in this game tonight,” Kibby said. “We started the game fired up and fought to the buzzer.”

One bad minute during the second quarter might have been the difference in Friday’s 53-46 loss to East. Each quarter was a virtual stale mate except the second, which East won 20-10 after getting a few lay-ups in a row off TMHS turnovers.

“There was just a brief moment the game that kind of turned it in East’s favor,” Nizich said. “You just can’t have breakdowns like that. You have to be steady the whole way through and one moment can change the game. It did for us, I believe.”

Staveland, who made the All-Tournament team, scored her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kibby added eight points and Fisher seven.

The Falcons (5-10, 0-2) host Juneau-Douglas at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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