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Saturday was a great night for basketball, especially for Juneau-Douglas fans.
The Crimson Bears knocked off the 3A Haines Glacier Bears 68-60 in an up-and-down, entertaining affair at JDHS after a late addition to the schedule.
Juneau-Douglas shot better than 48 percent on the night, including 5 of 13 from behind the arc, while Haines shot 38.5 percent and just 2 for 12 from the perimeter.
"We have kids that can shoot and when we're patient, we can shoot a high percentage," JDHS coach Steve Potter said. "Our problem has been that we've been impatient, a bit uncertain and we force shots. Today, I thought we only forced a couple of shots."
Haines coach Steve Fossman said JDHS did a better job of sharing the ball, and his Bears were a bit out-manned, dressing just seven players.
"We didn't get the ball moving enough and then we got tired," he said. "They have some real big bodies, and that put some wear and tear on our guys. We got a couple of kids out playing JV that would have given us a few minutes to help out, but we just really appreciate the opportunity to come down and get a game from Juneau on such a late notice."
JDHS sophomore guard Tony Yadao started things off with a triple, three of his team-high 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting. A 10-2 run by Haines had the Glacier Bears out front 12-7 late in the first quarter, but JDHS tied the game at 14-all when Eddie Hurtte made a heads-up jumper in the lane after grabbing a loose ball and being fouled for an old-fashioned three-point play.
Haines pulled ahead 18-15 after a Kyle Fossman runner, but Alex DeRocher took a skip pass from Hurtte and splashed a 3-pointer from the wing just before the buzzer to tie the game at 18 apiece after one quarter.
With the game tied at 22, DeRocher buried another triple after another skip pass, this time from senior Colin Gozelski, and Eric Sele scored a stickback down low for a 27-22 JDHS lead. The Bears held the same five-point, 33-28, advantage at the break.
JDHS started the third quarter with a 10-2 run after senior forward Paul Tupou scored inside, Victor Wilson drilled a 3-pointer and then got an and-1 after a steal and lay-up. Tupou scored a tough shot inside for a 43-30 JDHS lead. At the midway point, Fossman hit a 3-pointer with DeRocher in his face, but DeRocher returned the favor with a triple of his own on the ensuing JDHS possession to push the lead back to 13, 48-35.
"When you can get a little surge and make the other team play from behind, it's draining to play from behind," Potter said. "It's much more relaxing to have a little bit of a lead."
Haines chipped away with an 8-0 run of its own, but sophomore guard Lance Ibesate pushed it back to seven, 52-45, heading into the fourth quarter after taking the ball to the cup off the bounce for a lay-up.
Leading 53-47 early in the fourth, the Crimson Bears scored six straight after a tough deuce inside for Yadao, and a lay-up by Wilson. Yadao then stole the inbound pass and went baseline for a lay-up and a 59-47 JDHS lead. Haines would get no closer than eight the rest of the way.
Yadao said JDHS may have overlooked Haines a bit, especially early in the game.
"We came out a little overconfident because they're a 3A school and we let them stay close," he said. "We relaxed a little bit, but once we got in our rhythm, things started going our way."
Wilson and DeRocher both scored in double figures for JDHS, putting up 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Kyle Fossman, one of the best guards in the state, led all scorers with 29 points.
"I figured if we held him under 40 we'd have a pretty good chance," Potter said. "Realistically, it's not crazy to say that all."
JDHS girls sweep road trip
Juneau-Douglas capped off a long, successful Colorado road trip with two victories on Saturday, knocking off East Pueblo 51-36 in the morning before rolling 70-45 over Pueblo South in the nightcap.
Taylor Larson led JDHS with 14 points against East Pueblo, while Brittany Fenumiai and Annette Highley each added nine. Eleven of 13 Crimson Bears scored.
"They were a good little team, and we only led 20-19 at halftime," JDHS coach Lesslie Knight said of East Pueblo. "They stayed with us through the first half, which is what most teams do consistently - they can stay with us for a half but due to our depth, we can open it up in the second half."
JDHS led 37-25 at the break against Pueblo South.
"In the third quarter, we kind of opened it up behind three three-pointers, two from Karli Brakes and one by Nani Ostrom," Knight said. "Again, we were very balanced."
Brakes, Sarah Tarver and Hannah Swofford each had 12 points, and all but two Bears scored again.
"We ended up playing kids about three quarters in each game," Knight said. "They wanted more and they were pretty hungry to play when they got in."
The Bears return to Juneau tonight.
"It was a great trip, and we're worn out," Knight said. "The kids are ready to get home, and they have finals this week. The semester changes with new classes, so it will be an action-packed week."
JDHS (9-1, 3-1) returns to action Friday against West Valley for homecoming.