Colony holds off Juneau charge

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2008

Revenge will have to wait at least another day for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team.

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Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Colony (7-1) held the Crimson Bears scoreless for nearly a 4-minute stretch in the fourth quarter en route to a 64-54 win on Juneau's homecoming Saturday. Juneau-Douglas (6-7) twice cut the Knights' lead to two points in the fourth quarter. The Bears failed to completely close the gap, however, as Colony outscored JDHS 13-5 in the final 5:18.

"What I was disappointed in is we figured out that if we go inside that we were effective," JDHS coach Steve Potter said. "We had it down to two points, had the ball and we stopped throwing it down there. We started shooting quickly instead of making them work, making them foul us.

"They were up nine and we chopped it to two by methodically doing the work. We stopped doing the work. We tried to make great plays instead of solid plays."

JDHS trailed 47-43 after three quarters and whittled Colony's lead to two points by forcing the issue inside. Down 49-44 early in the fourth, JDHS point guard Shawn Ibesate got a steal, was fouled while making a layup and hit the ensuing free throw to cut the lead to two.

After Colony's Jaron Murphy hit two free throws to restore the four-point cushion, Juneau's Faifo Levale worked his 270-pound frame in the lane. Levale got fouled twice, making 2 of 4 free throws to trim Colony's lead to 51-49.

After that, however, Colony took control of the game.

The Knights made 11 of 16 free throws in the final 3:37 to stay up top as Juneau couldn't find a way to score.

"We've got a couple (New England) Patriots fans so it was like we had good red-zone defense," Colony coach Jeff Bowker said. "They got close but didn't get in."

From an excitement standpoint, Saturday's game lived up to the anticipation. The rematch of last year's state quarterfinal, won by Colony, featured plenty of end-to-end action and physical play.

The Knights, however, started quicker than Juneau as they raced out to a 20-7 first quarter lead.

Cody Grussendorf and Eric Gross both scored inside late to cut Colony's lead to 20-11 after eight minutes.

"For some reason, I'm not doing something right to get us ready to play at the start of games at home," Potter said. "We're not coming out with a purpose. We're not focused like we need to be."

Juneau-Douglas battled back by going inside.

Down 27-18 midway though the second quarter, Lawrence Fenumiai, Dominique Brinson and Ibesate all scored inside to trim Colony's lead to five.

After Chris Scott got four of those points back for Colony on the free-throw line, Brinson ended the first half with a layup to narrow the Knights' lead to 31-26 at halftime.

Gross scored nine of his team-high 15 points in the first half for JDHS.

Juneau and Colony traded baskets in the third quarter before Brinson's 3-pointer cut Colony's lead to 40-37 at the midway point.

Every time JDHS got close, however, Colony would fight back by getting to the line.

In all, Colony made 26 of 36 foul shots while JDHS converted 13 of 20 opportunities from the line.

"Colony is a tough team, no doubt about it, but we can't just allow tough teams to do what they want to on us," Potter said. "In too many instances, they were the aggressor and we were the reactor."

Brinson had 12 points and Ibesate scored 10 points to pace Juneau.

For Colony, Murphy had 15 points, Cody Huggins scored 12 points and John Palmer tallied seven points in the win.

To make up Friday's canceled game, the Crimson Bears and Knights will battle again at 4:30 p.m. today.

Colony 64, Juneau-Douglas 54

JDHS 11 15 17 11 - 54

Colony 20 11 16 17 - 64

JDHS (54) - Brinson 9 3-3 12, Mahar 0 0-0 0, Waters 0 0-0 0, Saviers 0 0-0 0, Grussendorf 2 2-2 4, Craig 0 0-0 0, Ibesate 8 2-3 10, Larson 8 0-0 8, Lauth 0 0-0 0, Gross 12 3-6 15, Bavard 0 0-0 0, Gozelski 0 0-0 0, Fenumiai 2 0-0 2, Levale 0 3-6 3.

Colony (64) - Zagars 2 0-0 2, Huggins 6 6-8 12, Murphy 8 7-8 15, Larson 0 0-0 0, Palmer 2 5-6 7, Scott 2 4-4 6, Niver 5 1-4 6, Gray 5 1-2 6, C. Murphy 0 0-0 0, Moseley 6 0-0 6, Stearman 2 2-4 4, Summers 0 0-0 0.

3-point goals - Juneau 3 (Larson 2), Colony 2 (Niver, Gray).

Fouled out - Niver, Colony.

• Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or

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