The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team extended its winning streak to nine games this weekend.
JDHS (14-2) upended North Pole 73-65 on Saturday to complete the sweep after topping the Patriots 65-44 on Friday.
On Saturday, JDHS used a blazing first half but ended up just hanging on to earn the victory.
North Pole battled back from a 46-18 halftime deficit and got within seven, but could get no closer.
"They came out smoking and we came out flat," JDHS coach George Houston said of Saturday's second half. "They stick with it, they keep playing. The score at halftime was kind of irrelevant because they came back."
Jacob Borkovic's two free throws with 3:18 left in regulation put North Pole within seven points of the lead at 64-57.
The Patriots would get no closer, however.
After Luke Miller hit a free throw, the referees whistled the Patriots' Dee Johnson for a technical foul.
Scott Lesh sank both free throws then hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to close the door. Lesh led the Bears with a game-high 25 points.
"That was pretty much the decider at that point of the game, I thought," Houston said.
In the first half, Juneau-Douglas couldn't make a mistake.
With crisp ball-movement, a strong inside presence and deft outside shooting, the Crimson Bears raced out to a 24-12 first quarter lead and padded their advantage to 46-17 at the half.
Lesh opened the game hot from the outside, making three 3-pointers and scoring 15 points in the first half.
"It felt good in the first half," Lesh said. "We were hitting our shots and playing tough 'D' and doing things right. We hoped to maintain that in the second half but we didn't do it tonight."
North Pole showed heart in the third quarter by mounting a furious comeback.
By going inside to their forwards - Chris Powell and Johnson - the Patriots outscored JDHS 29-9 in the third quarter.
"I consider it that we came out soft," Houston said. "That's something we need to take care of."
Even though JDHS won the game and extended its winning streak, Houston expressed the need for his team to play a complete 32-minute game.
"We have to discover how to play 32 minutes," Houston said. "That's been a concern over the course of the year where I felt where we only had a couple games where we played 32 minutes."
Will Egolf scored 16 points and Luke Miller added 10 points in the win.
Powell led North Pole with 18 points.
"We've got to start playing two good halves in a game instead of just one," Lesh said.
On Friday, the Crimson Bears upended North Pole (6-6) in an ugly, turnover-filled contest.
JDHS and North Pole combined to commit 59 turnovers but the Crimson Bears used a big first quarter and a late run to successfully open the weekend series.
"We just didn't seem to be playing with the same energy and the same fire we did in the last few games for whatever reason," Houston said.
Ryan Fagerstrom scored six points and dished out an assist in the first quarter as JDHS raced to a 15-9 lead after the first quarter.
Egolf helped extend the lead in the second quarter as he opened play with 11 straight points as JDHS held a 39-18 halftime lead.
North Pole responded after halftime, however, but going inside and hitting shots.
The Patriots opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run and cut Juneau's lead to 12 after three quarters.
Borkovic got North Pole within seven points in the fourth quarter when his 3-point shot cut Juneau's lead to 47-40.
"We missed quite a bit of shots in the first half," Patriots coach Sam McCormick said. "We played defense, Juneau helped us by turning the ball over and that led to some easier shots than we had in the first half."
Fagerstrom put an end to North Pole's run not with a big shot, but with a key defensive play.
The senior drew a charge on Borkovic. The offensive foul was Borkovic's fifth. The call sent North Pole into disarray as Juneau-Douglas ended the game outscoring the visitors 18-4.
Egolf led the Bears with 18 points while Clae Baker scored 16 points in the win. Fagerstrom had eight points, Sam Clark contributed six points and Tres Saldivar chipped in with four point in the win.
JDHS visits defending Southeast Conference champions Ketchikan (8-2, 4-0 SE) for two games on Feb. 3-4.
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