East Anchorage put a damper on homecoming by earning a weekend split against the Juneau-Douglas in girls basketball action.
The Thunderbirds (5-10) halted the Crimson Bears' winning streak at six games by earning a 48-44 win on Saturday. JDHS (10-2) opened the series with a 59-55 overtime win on Friday.
"I think they definitely played harder than we did," JDHS coach Lesslie Knight said of Saturday's loss. "We played tired, flat. In the first half we didn't force them to play defense. It was one pass, shoot."
East Anchorage opened Saturday's game with superb ball-movement as the T-Birds found and hit plenty of open shots in the pain.
Jazzie Gaddy scored 12 points while Sheena Pio dished out three assists as East raced to a 23-14 lead.
Juneau's offense slowed to a crawl in the second quarter. Veronica Lietz' layup and Sophia Smith's driving shot in the lane was all the offense JDHS could muster as East held a 28-18 halftime lead.
Juneau-Douglas attempted just 15 shots in the entire first half.
"In the first half they took more shots then we did, had more rebounds than we did and scored more points," Knight said. "We had 16 turnovers in the first half which is more than we usually have in a game."
Both teams continued to play tough defense in the third quarter as East and JDHS managed just six points each.
Down 10 points to start the fourth quarter, Talisa Rhea gave her squad an offensive boost.
Rhea showed the form that made her last year's state player of the year by scoring 10 straight points to start the quarter.
Rhea's run pulled JDHS to within two points of the lead.
The Crimson Bears would get no closer, however, as the T-Birds hit 11 of 13 free throws down the stretch to seal the road victory.
Katelyn Stearns led East with 14 points and four rebounds. Gaddy had 13 points and seven boards and Pio contributed 12 points and four assists in the win.
Rhea led the Crimson Bears in defeat, scoring 15 points. Lexi Garvey had 11 points, and Jordan Harvey posted six points in the loss.
On Friday, Juneau-Douglas received two huge blocks and a clutch 3-pointer from Garvey as the Bears defeated East 59-55 in overtime.
Garvey had 13 points in the win and had no problem stepping up in a pressurized situation.
"I felt a little more pressure because I didn't know how they were going to guard me," Garvey said. "But I felt pretty comfortable."
With 1 minute, 50 seconds remaining in overtime and the Bears down 53-52, Garvey calmly knocked down a long-distance 3-pointer to put JDHS up by three.
East had a chance to tie the game with 5.9 seconds left in overtime, but Garvey blocked Stearns' shot to preserve the win.
Garvey also turned aside Stearn's potentially game-winning shot as time expired in regulation, forcing overtime.
"Lex has consistently showed up in clutch times," Knight said. "She's totally unpredictable. She can drive and spot up."
Though it was Juneau-Douglas' first overtime game of the year, in the first half it appeared as if the Crimson Bears would run away with the game.
JDHS raced to a 21-8 first quarter lead, taking advantage of East's lax man-to-man defense.
The Thunderbirds made a key adjustment in the second quarter by switching to a 1-3-1 zone.
East trailed 30-18 at the half, but the zone forced JDHS to work harder for shots and clearly stopped the bleeding.
"We wanted to give them a different look and make the people find their way around it," East coach Dorena Bingham said.
After a dormant first half offensively, East forward Gaddy went to work in the third quarter.
The sophomore scored 10 of her 16 points in the third quarter as the T-Birds quickly nullified Juneau's lead.
East outscored the Bears 20-6 in the third quarter to take a 38-36 lead with one quarter left.
"They kept going to Jazzy at the free-throw line and she was popping them," Garvey said. "They played good defense and they killed us on rebounds."
Juneau-Douglas fought back in the fourth quarter as Veronica Lietz, noted mostly as a defensive specialist, hit consecutive jumpers midway through to knot the game at 45-45.
The team traded points before Garvey's block forced overtime with the score tied 49-49.
After shooting 52.3 percent from the floor in the first half, JDHS managed to hit only 32.5 percent of its shots in the second half against East's 1-3-1 zone.
Rhea led JDHS with 20 points and six assists. Garvey posted 13 points and four boards, Harvey had eight points and five rebounds and Fenumiai contributed six points and three rebounds.
Gaddy led East with 16 points.
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