The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team let a game it should have won get away as the Crimson Bears dropped a 60-51 decision to the Bartlett Golden Bears Saturday night at the JDHS main gym.
The Crimson Bears, who led by three points entering the fourth quarter, became the team that couldn't shoot straight as they only hit five of 17 shots from the field in the final period (29 percent). Juneau couldn't shoot straight early in the game either, as the Crimson Bears were just three of 14 in the first quarter (21 percent) and 19 of 58 for the game (33 percent).
Juneau coach George Houston said Bartlett's size advantage played a factor in Juneau's low shooting percentage, more than it should have played. The Golden Bears had an advantage of about two or three inches a man -- and sometimes more when Juneau's shorter guards took the floor -- even though the Golden Bears were missing their 6-foot-5, 280-pound starting center (Tui Alailefaleula) who stayed in Anchorage to take the SAT exam.
"That means we were intimidated by their size," Houston said of the low percentage. "That's why you change your shot, when their size intimidates you. You just have to go up and if they block it, they block it."
"They were bigger than us at every position and they blocked a couple early," said Juneau forward James Severin, who led the Crimson Bears with 18 points. We wanted to come inside on them and get some balance between our inside and outside game, but we didn't really go inside on them until the second half. We weren't running our motion (offense). We should have beaten them, but we folded again."
Even though Juneau (7-5 overall) didn't shoot well in the first quarter, the Crimson Bears still led 11-9 because Severin and Curtis Lane combined to hit three 3-pointers. But Houston felt the 3-pointers were like fool's gold.
"That's exactly what it was," Houston said. "We hit a couple of threes, then we get three-happy and don't establish our inside game. It was pretty much to order for fool's gold."
Bartlett pulled ahead at the end of the second quarter to take a 26-24 lead at halftime, but Juneau pulled ahead 37-34 at the end of the third quarter even though both teams shot poorly (Bartlett was three for 11 for 27 percent in the third quarter and Juneau was five for 15 for 33 percent).
"I think we changed a lot of shots," Juneau point guard Joe Ayers said. "We had a lot of easy looks we should have converted. We beat ourselves by missing too many shots. Anytime we lose like that, with all our missed opportunities, you want to play them again. What we have to do is execute."
"It was more us taking ourselves out of the game," said Lane, who finished with nine points. "We're not playing as hard as we should have. It did get away from us, and there's no reason. We need to practice going up strong. We missed a lot of easy shots."
In the fourth quarter, Bartlett (7-5 overall) pulled away as the Golden Bears shot 60 percent (six for 10) from the field and also made 14 of 17 free throws in the period. Bartlett, which beat Sitka 59-52 on Friday, hit 24 of 36 free throws for the game, while Juneau was just eight for 13 from the line. Bartlett actually had fewer field goals for the game than Juneau, shooting 18 for 49 from the field for 41 percent.
"From a defensive standpoint, they shot 41 percent," Houston said. "But we're not going to win many games shooting 33 percent. We can't allow that to happen. We have to go back to basics. We just missed too many shots, and we had a few that did everything but go in."
Cedrick Walker scored 17 points to lead the Golden Bears, while Andrew Smith added 14 points (including two dunks) and Lehman Tolliver scored 10 for Bartlett. Severin led Juneau with 18 points, with Clay Brown adding 13 and Lane nine for the Crimson Bears.
The Crimson Bears will face another big team in Chugiak on Thursday, when they play the Mustangs at 4:15 p.m. in the first round of the Palmer Elks Club Showdown at Palmer High School (the games will be broadcast on KINY, 800-AM). Chugiak features several players in the 6-foot-5, 6-6, 6-7 height range, and the Mustangs are heavier than Bartlett. Juneau will also play the Palmer Moose at 6 p.m. on Friday and the Homer Mariners at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday in the Palmer tournament.
"Our preparation this past week was terrible," Severin said. "You play like you practice, and our practices lately have not been what they should be. We need to really step it up in practice."
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLDEN BEARS 60,
CRIMSON BEARS 51
Saturday's boys boxscore from Juneau-Douglas High School
BARTLETT (60) -- Jonathan Mason 0 0-0 0, Lionel James 0 0-0 0, Zack Bowman 4 0-0 8, Cedrick Walker 4 9-12 17, Derek Pitka 0 0-0 0, Brandon Moore 1 0-0 2, Marcus Watts 3 3-4 9, Joey Webber 0 0-2 0, Bennie Holt 0 0-0 0, Lehman Tolliver 3 4-5 10, Andrew Smith 3 8-13 14. Totals: 18 24-36 60.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (51) -- Joe Ayers 1 1-2 3, Jon Carlo Malacas 0 0-0 0, Ryan Monagle 4 0-1 8, Junior Cumlat 0 0-0 0, Curtis Lane 3 0-0 9, Leon Bus 0 0-0 0, Clay Brown 6 1-2 13, Bryan Hamey 0 0-0 0, Jake Miller 0 0-0 0, James Severin 5 6-7 18, Byron Wild 0 0-1 0. Totals: 19 8-13 51.
BARTLETT 9 17 8 26 -- 60
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 11 13 13 14 -- 51
3-point goals -- Bartlett 0, Juneau-Douglas 5 (Lane 3, Severin 2). Fouled out -- Bartlett 0, Juneau-Douglas 1 (Cumlat). Technical fouls -- None. Total fouls -- Bartlett 14, Juneau-Douglas 24.