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The Service Cougars tried two different tactics this weekend to keep the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team stuck in its recent skid.
Neither of them worked, as the Crimson Bears ended a three-game losing streak with a 76-49 victory on Friday and a 52-40 win on Saturday at the JDHS main gym.
In Friday's game, Service tried to lob the ball over Juneau's defense and the Cougars were able to hang close for a quarter with a few fast breaks. But the Crimson Bears made some adjustments and went on a 12-0 run in the second quarter and a 10-0 run in the fourth as Service couldn't keep up with Juneau's up-tempo transition game.
On Saturday, the Cougars decided to slow things down and they were able to stay close until the fourth quarter. Service was very deliberate with its offense, a couple of times burning more than 1 1/2 minutes off the clock as the Cougar players looked for an open shot. But Juneau's defense made it difficult for Service to find open lanes to the basket and, with Juneau leading 30-27, the Crimson Bears went on a 9-0 run by the Crimson Bears midway through the fourth quarter to clinch the victory.
"I think we definitely won with our defense," Juneau junior guard Alex Heumann said after Saturday's game. "We thought they'd come out a lot harder today. We weren't hitting our shots early, and we just had to keep moving the ball around."
"We started feeding off of that energy," senior guard Sterling Henderson said of Juneau's 9-0 fourth-quarter run, which started when Henderson stole a pass and fed it to Joe Ayers for a 3-pointer. "We needed that (energy), especially when we're not hitting."
The victories give Juneau a two-game winning streak to take to Ketchikan this coming weekend as the Crimson Bears tip off their Region V-Class 4A schedule. Juneau was coming off an 0-3 performance in the Alaska Prep Shootout in Anchorage two weeks ago, so the Crimson Bears were happy to get back on track with the victories.
"It was good to finally play after two weeks off," Juneau senior center Byron Wild said. "If we'd had to go another week, I don't think we'd have done as well. You can't duplicate what happens in games in practice."
Unofficially Juneau has a 6-3 overall record, but Saturday's victory was an Alaska School Activities Association Endowment Fund game that isn't supposed to count in team records. Service fell to 6-6 with the losses (6-5 officially).
This weekend's games with Service were added to the schedule just two weeks ago. The games filled Juneau's schedule, which had been short two games. The matchup became possible when the Cougars got back from a tournament in California and found they had room for an extra game because they'd dropped into the losers' bracket and didn't play as many games as expected.
While Service has now lost three games to Juneau - the Crimson Bears beat the Cougars 71-59 in Anchorage the day before the Alaska Prep Shootout started - Service coach David Porter said he was pleased with his team's effort in Saturday's game.
"Absolutely, we needed to slow things down," Porter said. "The kids are learning a new system and they're trying to do everything, and sometimes you just need to slow things down. We were excited to take a good Juneau team to the wire. Our goal was to hold them to 48 points and 52's not that far off. We did some things really well tonight and Juneau's a really well-coached team."
Saturday's game had few offensive fireworks, as Juneau led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter, 21-15 at halftime and 30-21 at the end of the third quarter. Service closed to within 30-27 with just under six minutes to play, when Henderson's steal and Ayers' 3-pointer got Juneau rolling. The Crimson Bears went on a 9-0 run to take a 41-30 lead and Juneau stayed on top by making 13 of 16 free throws over the game's final four minutes.
Bryan Hamey scored 12 points to lead Juneau, plus he grabbed five rebounds and had a block. Heumann scored 11 points and so did Wild, who only had two points until the game's final 2:06. Adam Dunn scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Service, while David Hardy added 11 points and Jason Hibbert grabbed eight rebounds.
On Friday, the score was tied 18-18 at the end of the first quarter and 20-20 early in the second period. That's when David Jones came off the bench to make a shot that started a 12-0 Juneau run. The Crimson Bears led 39-24 at halftime and the closest Service got the rest of the game was 10 points down. A 10-0 run for Juneau early in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach.
Hamey scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Juneau, with Wild adding 13 points and eight rebounds. Henderson and Heumann both had nine points, with five rebounds from Henderson, while Ayers had four assists and three rebounds. Brian Jones scored 18 points to lead Service, with 12 of them in the first quarter, and Dunn added eight points and Ryan Hackley scored seven.
"We felt the energy of the crowd," Hamey said Friday. "We started passing the ball better after the first quarter. They came out hot and didn't miss many shots."
"We were glad just to be playing a game," Ayers said. "We always love playing in front of the home crowd."
Crimson Bears JV 51, Panthers 44
In junior varsity action on Saturday, the Juneau JV team rallied from a 10-point deficit in the middle of the third quarter to claim a 51-44 victory over the Skagway varsity. On Friday, the Crimson Bears JV team played a pick-up team of Juneau athletes not in the basketball program, but no official scorebook was kept.
Josh Monagle scored 12 points to lead the Juneau JV team on Saturday, with Kyle Huntsman adding 11 for the Crimson Bears. Scott Lesh scored 14 points and Kyle Fairbanks added 12 to lead the Panthers.
Juneau's defense held Skagway's Jarrett Brown to just two points on Saturday. Brown scored 32 points when the two teams played on Jan. 10 in Skagway's Don Hather Invitational, leading the Panthers to a 60-57 victory.
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRIMSON BEARS 52, COUGARS 40
Saturday's boys boxscore from JDHS
SERVICE (40) - Frank Munnlyn 1 1-3 4, Joe Orien 0 0-0 0, David Christal 0 0-0 0, Byron Devon 0 0-0 0, David Hardy 3 4-7 11, Jason Hibbert 1 3-4 5, Ryan Hackley 1 0-0 2, Adam Dunn 3 6-6 12, Sean O'Briant 0 0-0 0, Brian Jones 1 4-4 6. Totals: 10 18-24 40.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (52) - Larry Cooper 0 0-0 0, Joe Ayers 1 2-2 5, Thomas Derbesy 0 0-0 0, Tres Saldivar 0 0-0 0, Luke Miller 0 0-0 0, Sterling Henderson 2 1-3 5, Alex Heumann 3 2-2 11, Nik Hura 0 4-6 4, Bryan Hamey 3 6-6 12, Kyle Huntsman 0 0-0 0, David Jones 1 0-0 2, Byron Wild 2 7-10 11, Kolt Garvey 1 0-0 2, Josh Monagle 0 0-0 , Adam Nelson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 22-29 52.
SERVICE 8 7 6 19 - 40
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 10 11 9 22 - 52
3-point goals - Service 2 (Munnlyn 1, Hardy 1), Juneau-Douglas 4 (Heumann 3, Ayers 1). Fouled out - Service 2 (Dunn, B. Jones), Juneau-Douglas 0. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Service 23, Juneau-Douglas 20.
CRIMSON BEARS 76, COUGARS 49
Friday's boys boxscore from JDHS
SERVICE (49) - Frank Munnlyn 1 0-0 2, Joe Orien 0 0-0 0, David Christal 0 2-2 2, Byron Devon 0 0-0 0, David Hardy 2 1-5 5, Jason Hibbert 2 0-0 5, Ryan Hackley 3 1-2 7, Adam Dunn 3 2-2 8, Sean O'Briant 0 2-2 2, Brian Jones 7 4-4 18. Totals: 18 12-17 49.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (76) - Larry Cooper 0 0-0 0, Joe Ayers 1 0-2 2, Thomas Derbesy 0 0-0 0, Tres Saldivar 2 1-1 5, Luke Miller 0 0-0 0, Sterling Henderson 3 3-4 9, Alex Heumann 4 0-0 9, Nik Hura 1 3-4 5, Bryan Hamey 7 0-0 15, Kyle Huntsman 2 0-0 4, David Jones 2 0-0 4, Byron Wild 6 1-2 13, Kolt Garvey 1 0-0 2, Josh Monagle 1 0-0 2, Adam Nelson 3 0-0 6. Totals: 33 8-13 76.
SERVICE 18 6 11 14 - 49
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 18 21 13 24 - 76
3-point goals - Service 1 (Hibbert 1), Juneau-Douglas 2 (Heumann 1, Hamey 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Service 15, Juneau-Douglas 12.