Juneau-Douglas avenged its first loss of the season Thursday with a 50-46 win over visiting Mt. Edgecumbe at JDHS.
The Braves handed the Crimson Bears a 47-42 defeat Jan. 6 and Mt. Edgecumbe would not go away Thursday, never letting Juneau-Douglas get comfortable.
JDHS coach Steve Potter credited the play of senior guard Eddie Hurtte for giving the Bears a big lift off the bench. Hurtte finished second on the team in scoring with 12 points, but Potter said it was the little things he did that really stood out.
“He was on loose balls and cutting hard the whole game. He hasn’t played that much varsity basketball but as a senior, he’s trying to lead by example,” he said. “We don’t really have any true vocal leaders and I think with his play, he’s trying to set an example for the other guys.
“And I think it carried over. Guys started moving with more purpose.”
The Braves quickly built a 5-0 lead after a jumper by sophomore guard Dominique Hall and a triple from the wing by senior Savion Waters.
Junior Tony Yadao put the Bears on the board after knocking down a jumper on a kick out from De’Andre “Jazz” King, and then King scored inside. Junior Evan Gross scored down low to give the Bears their first lead at 6-5, and then made it 8-5 with a tip-in score off a King miss. A stickback by senior forward Ryan Baldwin doubled up the Braves at 12-6, but Hall knocked down a jumper and it was 12-8, JDHS, after one quarter of play.
The Braves began with a 7-2 spurt to retake the lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Hall got an and-1 inside and then a bucket off the dribble to push Mt. Edgecumbe back out front, 15-14, with 5:47 to play in the half.
JDHS tied it at 15-15 with a Baldwin free throw and then went up 19-15 on easy bucket inside for Hurtte off a beautiful baseline drive and dish by Yadao.
The Bears took a 23-17 lead on a 3-pointer by junior point guard Lance Ibesate after a Yadao steal, but the Braves took the air out of the ball with 2:37 to play, dribbling and passing around the perimeter for two full minutes, until Zach Ivanoff rose and splashed a triple.
“That’s pretty much what we’ve seen our last few games and we’ve got to learn how to deal with it,” Potter said of other teams slowing the tempo. “We’ve got to get out and guard guys. We tried to stir things up in the second half and we were able to move the tempo a little bit — not as much as I’d like, but it was still better than the first half.”
Kacy Green then made it a 23-22 game after knocking down a couple of free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining in the half.
Mt. Edgecumbe tied the game twice in the third quarter but never could get over the hump. A 3-pointer by Waters at the 5:48-mark knotted the game at 25 apiece, and two free throws by Hall tied it at 27-all.
JDHS went inside to the 6-foot-7 Gross for a bucket, and went up 5, 32-27, after a steal and lay-up by Ibesate.
JDHS led 34-27 after Yadao drove the lane and finished with a nifty up-and-under lay-up, but Mt. Edgecumbe scored the final four points on free throws by Waters, again keeping the game within reach at 34-31 heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams had trouble getting anything going over the first half of the final period, but a Yadao 3-pointer on a King kick-out gave the Bears their biggest lead at 43-35.
A triple by Waters cut it to 5, 47-42, but the Braves would get no closer.
“I thought we did a good job in spots of being patient and getting good shots. The biggest thing I thought was missed lay-ups and free throws,” Mt. Edgecumbe coach Archie Young said. “If you look at the stats and see how many shots we missed in the paint and how many free throws we missed in a four-point game, I think we missed more free throws than we lost by.
“We were able to get close but we could never get over,” he continued. “I think we made strides, though. I thought we played hard — a little out of control, but hard.”
Mt. Edgecumbe went 4-for-7 from the line in the first half before making eight straight and finishing 15 of 20 from the stripe.
Ibesate led JDHS with 13 points, Hurtte scored 12 and Yadao six.
Waters led all scorers with 23 points.
JDHS (10-4, 2-0) is off until Feb. 4, when Wasilla treks to Juneau.
The Crimson Bears JV team pulled out a 44-42 victory over Mt. Edgecumbe behind 12 points from Jeffrey Pusich and nine points for Aquiro Brinson. Kyle Barry and Jackson Lehnhart added six points each.
Calvin Franklin led all scorers with 17 points.