First-half defense propels Colony past JDHS girls

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2008

Colony's girls basketball team used a strong first half to solidify its standing as one of Alaska's top teams on Saturday.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

The Knights (6-1) led 32-17 at halftime and held on for a 57-52 win over Juneau-Douglas High School.

"We wanted to set the tempo," Colony coach Don Witzel said. "We're starting to become a good pressing team."

Colony's press gave Juneau fits in the first half. The Knights forced JDHS into 14 first-half turnovers as they took a 13-0 lead to start the game.

The Crimson Bears committed eight turnovers in the first 5 minutes alone.

"We're used to people trapping us and normally we do a pretty good job," JDHS guard Mahlet Tingley said. "At the beginning we panicked and we played like we were scared, and then there were turnovers after turnovers."

Colony's 5-foot-10 guard Kara Larson and 5-foot-11 forward Allie Grazulis helped trigger first half attack. The two overwhelmed Juneau's smaller ballhanders into turnovers as Colony took an 18-6 first-quarter lead.

The Knights also found room to score inside as Alex Coon proved a frequent recipient of passes in the lane for buckets. Coon finished with 12 points in the win.

"We were talking a lot, helping each other out and calling out screens," Larson said. "We were just playing well together."

After a slow first half, Juneau-Douglas found its bearings after halftime.

The defense of sophomore Annette Highley and freshman Karli Brakes helped spark a third-quarter run.

"When Annette drove well and Karli got steals, it helped our team get more and more confidence, and we did better as it went on," Tingley said.

Juneau chipped in as Highley scored four straight points, Hannah Swofford hit a layup and Mahlet Tingley drained a 3-pointer to cut Colony's lead 39-34. The Knights took a 41-35 lead after three quarters.

The Bears maintained the intensity in the fourth quarter, but Colony maintained its poise to seal a big road win.

Taylor Larson scored 12 points, Nicole Fenumiai had 11 points and a 3-pointer for JDHS, while Tingley scored seven points, and Swofford added six points in the loss.

For Colony, Larson tallied 12 points, while Grazulis chipped in seven points

The two teams will play again at 2:45 p.m. today.

• Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or sports@juneauempire.com.

Colony 57, Juneau-Douglas 52

JDHS (52) 6 11 18 17 - 52

Colony (57) 19 13 9 16 - 57

JDHS - Johnson 0 0-0 0, Dierick 0 2-2 2, Tingley 5 2-2 7, B. Fenumiai 5 0-0 5, Brakes 4 0-1 4, Harrison 0 0-0 0, Tarver 0 1-4 1, Highley 2 2-2 4, Larson 12 0-0 12, N. Fenumiai 11 0-0 11, Swofford 6 0-0 6.

Colony - Hamann 2 8-10 10, Garrod 4 2-2 6, Hotchkiss 6 0-0 6, Klapperich 0 0-0 0, Bowker 3 1-4 1, Lund 0 0-0 0, Mallo 0 0-0 0, Grazulis 6 1-2 7, M. Bowker 0 0-0 0, Coon 10 2- 4 12, Eisenhower 0 0-0 0, Larson 8 4-6 12.

3-point goals - Juneau-Douglas 3-9 (B. Fenumiai 2-3, N. Fenumiai 1-1, Tingley 0-3, Brakes 0-1, Harrison 0-1). Colony 3-7 (Hotchkiss 2-4, M. Bowker 1-2, Hamann 0-1).

Rebounds - Juneau-Douglas 22 (B. Fenumiai 6). Colony 19 (Coon 6).

Assists - Juneau-Douglas 11 (Tingley 4). Colony 12 (Hotchkiss 3).

Fouled out - None.

Team fouls - JDHS 19, Colony 13.



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