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The Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team had all nine players score points as the Crimson Bears cruised to an easy 58-38 victory over the Dimond Lynx on Wednesday in the first game of a four-game road trip to Anchorage.
The Crimson Bears (7-2 overall) jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter and led 33-12 at halftime. Juneau pushed the advantage to 45-20 at the end of the third quarter, before coasting in the fourth quarter against the Lynx (1-4).
"We got off to a real good start to the game," Juneau assistant coach Jer Hamey said. "We did a good job of pushing the ball and we established Hilary (center Hilary Rehfeld) inside early. We were able to work on some things in game situations in the fourth quarter that we hadn't been able to work on before. It was a good win. I think we turned the corner after our second game in Ketchikan last weekend."
In fact, Juneau's main struggle wasn't with the Lynx on Wednesday. Juneau's biggest struggle was against itself at the free-throw line, where the Crimson Bears only made nine of their 26 shots for a 34.6 percent average. Except for Amy Neussl (6-for-9) and Anna Capacci (2-for-3), no Crimson Bears made more than half of their free throws. Dimond made eight of its 17 free throws.
"We've been struggling there (from the free-throw line) the last several games," Hamey said. "It's all mental. These girls can shoot free throws. It just kind of snowballed on us. You get a big lead and you lose your concentration. In close games we need these guys to hit above 70 percent, and we're capable of it."
Neussl scored 14 points to lead Juneau, which scored more than 50 points for only the second time this season. Rehfeld added 12 points, including eight in the first quarter, while Kendri Cesar had eight points and Danielle Larson scored six points for Juneau.
"Anna (Capacci) gave us some good minutes off the bench, and Letasha (McKoy) hit two 17-footers," Hamey said. "We had some good games off the bench. The bench really picked up for us."
Megan O'Connor scored eight points to lead Dimond, with six of those coming in the fourth quarter. Zee Zee Young added seven points and the duo of Cynthia Morales and Laura Griffin had six points each for the Lynx.
The Crimson Bears fell from No. 3 to the "others receiving votes" part of this week's poll following a split with new No. 5 Ketchikan last weekend in Ketchikan. Juneau can climb back into the poll with a strong performance in the East Anchorage T-Bird Classic that starts today and runs through Saturday.
Juneau plays undefeated Colony (4-0), which is tied for No. 3 in this week's poll, at 2 p.m. today. At 8 p.m. on Friday, the Crimson Bears play two-time defending state champion East (7-2), which slipped to the No. 2 spot in the state poll despite taking the nation's No. 5 team (Archbishop Mitty of California) to overtime before losing 88-85 on Saturday in a tournament in the MLK Classic at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. The Crimson Bears close out the road trip at 2 p.m. on Saturday when they play unranked Bartlett (4-1), which fell into the "others receiving votes" part of the poll after losing to top-ranked Wasilla last Saturday.
"I'm looking forward to this weekend," Hamey said. "We've already played Wasilla, and I think Colony and East will be good games for us. I think we can match up with them. I think Wasilla, East and Colony are the three teams we need to watch in the state."
CRIMSON BEARS 58, LYNX 38
Wednesday's game from Dimond High School
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (58) -- Kari Parr 2 0-0 5, Suzanne Parr 1 1-4 3, Kendri Cesar 4 0-1 8, Anna Capacci 1 2-3 4, Amy Neussl 4 6-9 14, Hilary Rehfeld 6 0-1 12, Danielle Larson 3 0-4 6, Letasha McKoy 2 0-2 4, Jessica Hahnlen 1 0-2 2. Totals: 24 9-26 58.
DIMOND (38) -- Zee Zee Young 3 0-0 7, Halley Sullivan 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Sandy 1 2-3 5, Brittany Muscio 1 0-0 2, Megan O'Connor 3 2-6 8, Andrea Stigall 1 0-0 2, Cynthia Morales 1 4-6 6, Amy Downing 1 0-0 2, Laura Griffin 3 0-2 6, K. Kintz 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 8-17 38.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 17 16 12 13 -- 58
DIMOND 6 6 8 18 -- 38
3-point goals -- Juneau-Douglas 1 (K. Parr 1), Dimond 2 (Young 1, Sandy 1). Fouled out -- Juneau-Douglas 0, Dimond 1 (Griffin). Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls -- Juneau-Douglas 14, Dimond 22.