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Between airports and the hardwood, it was an up-and-down weekend for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team as the Crimson Bears posted a 1-1 record at Bartlett's Sheri Stears Memorial tournament in Anchorage.
Because of weather and travel problems, Juneau missed its game with the Lathrop Malemutes on Thursday and on Friday the tournament committee decided not to make it up. In games that were played, the Crimson Bears blitzed the Deep Valley Christian School Hornets 94-41 on Friday and then lost 46-37 to the Wasilla Warriors on Saturday when Juneau had trouble with turnovers and poor shooting.
"I think that game yesterday was such a blowout, that we reverted to what we did in the first game at Ketchikan (a 71-57 loss a week earlier)," Juneau head coach George Houston said. "We were trying to do too much with the ball. (Assistant coach) Steve Potter said maybe we relaxed too much."
But Juneau's weekend record may go to 1-2, as the tournament committee gave Juneau a forfeit loss to Lathrop after fog delayed the Crimson Bears' arrival in Anchorage. Houston said he's planning to protest the forfeit if the Alaska Schools Activities Association counts it in his team's record.
Juneau and Lathrop were to play at 4 p.m. on Thursday, but the team's scheduled morning flight to Anchorage didn't land in Juneau because of malfunctioning GPS equipment and fog near the airport. After starting to return to school, the Crimson Bears decided to catch a later flight to Seattle to see if it was easier to catch another plane to Anchorage from Washington state.
After stopping in Sitka and Ketchikan en route to Seattle, and - ironically - stopping in Juneau on the way back north to Anchorage, the Crimson Bears finally got to the gym a little after 9 p.m.
Both teams were there, but Houston said the tournament committee didn't want to play a late-night game Thursday and Lathrop didn't want to play twice on Saturday. Houston said he and Lathrop coach Milo Griffin both have openings on their schedules the weekend of Feb. 18-19, and they hope to get their athletic directors to reschedule the game in Fairbanks.
"It isn't going to cost us a game, or ASAA and I are going to have some words," Houston said of the forfeit, adding that he planned a conversation with JDHS athletic director Sandi Wagner when he gets back to school on Monday. "We didn't spend $6,000 to go all that way to just play two games. He's got games available and we now have three open dates on our schedule. It's going to be expensive to go to Fairbanks, but we might be able to pick up a game against West Valley or North Pole."
As for the action on the court, in Friday's game the Crimson Bears had no worries as they dominated Deep Valley Christian. The Hornets only had six players on their roster, so they didn't play much defense as Juneau led 59-24 at halftime after leading 14-0 early in the first quarter. If it wasn't for eight 3-pointers, the Hornets wouldn't have had much of an offense.
Luke Miller scored 16 points to lead Juneau in scoring, as every Crimson Bear scored at least four points and five hit double figures. Kyle Huntsman added 14 points, Tom Derbesy scored 12 and the duo of Scott Lesh and Mychal Hutcherson had 10 points apiece. Juneau shot just one free throw in the game, and the two teams combined for just 10 fouls. First names weren't available for the Hornets, who were led by Goodrick with 14 points and Miller with 11, all in the first quarter.
The Crimson Bears could have used some of their extra points in Saturday's game, as they struggled to make shots early against Wasilla and fell behind 18-6 early in the second quarter before finally closing the gap to 18-16 at halftime.
Luke Miller tied the game to open the second half, but then Wasilla's Jesse Bean got hot and keyed a run that put the Warriors on top 33-23 late in the third quarter. The Crimson Bears never got closer than six points again. Wasilla had a taller lineup with a front three of Luke Schafer, Sam Schafer and Matt Crane that averages 6-foot-5, but Juneau outrebounded the Warriors by seven, Houston said.
"They played half-court defense, and we had 20 turnovers," Houston said. "We were very sloppy with the ball, lackadaisical with it, and they only had nine turnovers. I'm not happy with our level of intensity."
Bean led Wasilla with 20 points and Crane scored 10. Will Egolf scored 10 points to lead Juneau, with Miller and Hutcherson adding six each.
After playing the entire month of January on the road, the Crimson Bears will play the next two weekends at home as they host Sitka for a pair of Southeast Conference-Class 4A games this Friday and Saturday and then Colony for homecoming on Feb. 11-12.
JDHS BOYS BASKETBALL
WARRIORS 46, CRIMSON BEARS 37
Saturday's game from Bartlett
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (37) - Larry Cooper 0 0-0 0, Norman Zura 0 0-0 0, Tom Derbesy 1 1-2 3, Tres Saldivar 0 2-2 2, Luke Miller 3 0-2 6, Scott Lesh 0 0-0 0, Mychal Hutcherson 2 2-2 6, Kyle Huntsman 2 0-0 4, Clae Baker 2 0-0 4, Will Egolf 5 0-0 10. Totals: 16 5-8 37.
WASILLA (46) - Jesse Bean 6 5-6 20, Brad Hobbs 0 1-2 1, Robbie Champion 1 0-2 2, Adam Brickland 0 0-0 0, Jeremiah Collins 0 0-0 0, Sam Schafer 1 1-2 3, Matt Crane 5 0-0 10, Luke Schafer 1 2-4 4, Dustin Bragg 3 0-0 6. Totals: 17 9-16 46.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 4 12 9 12 - 37
WASILLA 10 8 15 13 - 46
3-point goals - Juneau-Douglas 0, Wasilla 3 (Bean 3). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Juneau-Douglas 17, Wasilla 12.
CRIMSON BEARS 94, HORNETS 41
Friday's game from Bartlett
DEEP VALLEY CHRISTIAN (41) - Miller 4 0-0 11, Roberts 3 0-2 8, Goodrick 4 3-4 14, Lovelady 3 0-0 6, Obee 0 0-0 0, Walker 1 0-0 2. 15 3-6 41.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (94) - Larry Cooper 3 0-0 8, Norman Zura 2 0-0 4, Tom Derbesy 5 1-1 12, Tres Saldivar 2 0-0 4, Luke Miller 8 0-0 16, Ryan Fagerstrom 3 0-0 6, Scott Lesh 4 0-0 10, Mychal Hutcherson 5 0-0 10, Kyle Huntsman 7 0-0 14, Clae Baker 2 0-0 4, Will Egolf 3 0-0 6. Totals: 44 1-1 94.
DEEP VALLEY 14 10 8 9 - 41
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 29 30 20 15 - 94
3-point goals - Deep Valley Christian 8 (Miller 3, Goodrick 3, Roberts 2), Juneau-Douglas 5 (Cooper 2, L. Miller 2, Derbesy 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Deep Valley Christian 3, Juneau-Douglas 7.