Bears perfect in top half of voyage

JDHS stampedes Patriots 25-13 Thursday night, 3-point bonanza shoots down Wolves Wednesday

Posted: Friday, January 30, 2009

Senior guard Sean Bavard hit four three-pointers as the Crimson Bears outscored Bartlett 25-13 in the second quarter Thursday night, and the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team cruised to their second victory in two nights at Fairbanks, 65-51.

The Crimson Bears (8-4 overall, 0-2 Southeast Conference) were able to find Bavard in space due to a scrambling, trapping defense that fell prey to the JDHS press break.

"We didn't do so well against that kind of defense up in Ketchikan. If we run our press break, though we haven't found a press yet that we can't score against," JDHS coach Steve Potter said. "But if one guy forgets or messes up his assignment we're stuck."

Bavard and junior guard Alex DeRocher were forced to step up with more of the team's ball-handling responsibilities when junior wing Cody Grussendorf was injured just three minutes into the contest. A Bartlett player attempting to collect a rebound after jumping in from the elbow landed on Grussendorf and sidelined him for the rest of the contest with a neck injury.

"Those guys picked up the slack. Sean, obviously, shot it pretty well and Alex did a good job for us handling the ball," Potter said.

Bavard led the Bears in scoring with 20 points, including five three-pointers in the game. Senior posts Geoff Craig and Eric Gross added 10 points apiece. In all, nine different JDHS players scored and Grussendorf's shortened effort was the only one to yield less than two field goals.

"After that second quarter the game never really felt in jeopardy," Potter said. "I wouldn't say we blew them out, but we were comfortable."

The Junea-Douglas team will now have to wake up at 4 a.m. today to catch their flight to Anchorage for a game against Bartlett tonight at 7:30 p.m. A Saturday matchup against Service will follow at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the Bears will take on Colony at 1 p.m. on Monday.

"We're certainy not excited about waking up at 4 a.m., but this is a good opportunity for us," Potter said. "Bartlett only beat West by 10 or so points and West handed it to us pretty good. We'l have to see how much better we are now."

JDHS 78, West Valley 57

The Crimson Bears boys team stepped in from the 30-below temperatures on Wednesday to burn up West Valley's 2-3 zone with their best three-point shooting night of the year.

JDHS finished the game 8-of-16 from behind the arc, using a quick-moving offense to "get our shooters where their guys aren't," according to Potter.

Two Juneau-Douglas shooters - DeRocher and senior Bavard - hit three bombs apiece to lead the onslaught. DeRocher finished with 13 points on the night, while Bavard added 11.

"We knew (DeRocher) could shoot it from the last two years when he was on (junior varsity), and that's one of the main reasons we made sure we were going to have him on the floor this season," Potter said. "He's been steadily progressing as this season goes on."

Grussendorf and senior point guard Reese Saviers each sank a three-pointer apiece to add to the Bears' tally.

Potter talked to his team at length before the game, however, about not getting trapped on the perimeter with the ball. The Bears responded by feeding their roving forwards - Gross and sophomore Colin Gozelski - throughout the contest as they found cutting lanes to the basket. Both players finished with a team-high 15 points and four rebounds apiece.

Senior wing Alex Fagerstorm led the Bears on the defensisve end with five rebounds and four steals, while also chipping in six points.

"We were unhappy with how we played (in two losses to Ketchikan last weekend). Ketchikan certainly played well and deserved to win those games, but we found out we need to set a little bit higher standard for ourselves," Potter said. "We did a pretty good job of answering that challenge."

The Wolf Pack (1-5 overall) never pulled closer than 10 points in the second half. Ken Sample led his team with a game-high 18 points and Ealum Howe added 10 points for West Valley.

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