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Ketchikan pulled off the nearly unthinkable Saturday in boys' basketball, earning a season sweep of Juneau-Douglas with a 66-58 victory over the ice-cold Crimson Bears at JDHS.
"I had somebody that used to be a sports reporter for Ketchikan that let me know that he believes it was 1973-74 (since the Kings have swept the Bears)," Ketchikan coach Erik Stockhausen said Saturday after his team did just that.
Ketchikan led 11-9 after a back-and-forth first quarter that saw neither team take control, with the Kings holding the biggest edge at four points after a 5-0 run. Senior forward Colin Gozelski hit senior forward Paul Tupou for a leaner in the lane just before the buzzer to cut into the deficit.
The second quarter was more of the same, but this time with more shots falling for both teams.
There were four ties at 11-, 13-, 15- and 17-all, but JDHS could never get over the hump to retake the lead.
At 17-17, junior Jesse Lindgren scored inside, followed by a nifty reverse lay-up for senior Jeff Whicker, who had 12 points in the first half, to push the Kings back out front by four, 21-17. JDHS closed 6-4 with sophomore guard Lance Ibesate going straight the basket for a tough runner to set the first-half score at 25-23 heading into the locker room.
The Bears were lucky to be that close after shooting just 8 of 31, good for 25.8 percent, in the first half, while the Kings shot 8 of 19 for 42.1 percent.
And it didn't get any better in the third quarter as Ketchikan began to extend its lead. JDHS scored just eight points in the entire third period on 21 percent shooting, with two coming at the buzzer after Ibesate got to the basket for a tough lay-up.
The lead ballooned to 20, 53-33, in the fourth quarter after an 11-2 run in the first minutes, though JDHS was able to get it back down to a more respectable margin late in the game after the Bears started furiously attacking the basket.
"I told them at halftime that if we didn't come out with more purpose, then we were going to lose by 20," JDHS coach Steve Potter said. "Then we caught a little bit of fire, but it's got to take more than getting down by 20 to have that fire."
Potter threw out a laundry list of areas he thought his team was outplayed.
"We've got to get back to doing what we're trying to do. We did not do a very good job," he said. "Ketchikan was quicker to the ball, they were more aggressive on offense, they cut harder, they had more purpose... .
"We just can't allow that to happen and continue to be successful."
Whicker followed his 30-point performance on Friday with 28 more to lead all scorers. Stockhausen also credited Whicker for keeping DeRocher off balance. DeRocher finished with 17 points, most of which came in a fourth-quarter flurry after he started attacking the basket and abandoning the 3-point line, where he shot just 1-for-17 in the two games. DeRocher said that's the worst he remembers ever shooting.
"In my whole high school career, I don't remember going that bad, even in JV games," said the senior. "I just had some off nights, and it happens to everybody. I was just lucky to be able to get some points driving in. We have a couple of practices before Thunder Mountain, so we're going to refocus. We've got to get that (focus) back."
"That's not indicative of that young man," Stockhausen said of DeRocher. "We game planned a little bit for him and tried to limit his good looks, and I thought Jeff Whicker did a fantastic job all weekend defensively. But we know that if we get a chance to play them again, those numbers are going to be a lot different.
"He's an All-Conference player, no question."
The Kings (17-5, 5-1) shot almost 49 percent to the Bears 33. Ketchikan also outrebounded JDHS 42-34 with a lineup of basically three guards and two small forwards.
"That's ridiculous," Potter said in disgust of the deficit on the glass. "It's ridiculous that we would ever get outrebounded."
Wilson and Yadao were the other Bears in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Wilson also had nine boards, three assists and two steals.
JDHS (10-9, 2-4) is at crosstown rival Thunder Mountain (7-11, 1-5 not counting Saturday's second game) for the Falcons' senior night on Thursday.
Bears can't catch up to Kings
Down two with 15.5 seconds to play Friday, Juneau-Douglas got off three shots to either tie or take the lead but none found the bottom of the net, as Ketchikan hung on for a 63-61 Southeast Conference-clinching victory on the Crimson Bears' home floor.
Senior wing Victor Wilson got two good looks underneath with time winding down, but neither would drop. And sophomore guard Tony Yadao's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was wide, dooming the Bears to the No. 2 seed at best in next month's conference tournament.
"We missed it," JDHS coach Steve Potter said simply of the Bears' final chances, shaking his head. "We did what we wanted to do, we got the shot we wanted and we just couldn't make it."
With three minutes to go and Ketchikan clinging to a 58-53 lead, Wilson scored inside off a dish from senior guard Alex DeRocher to make it a three-point game. A couple of King free throws pushed the lead back to five, 60-55, but Yadao found senior forward Paul Tupou inside for the hoop and the harm, though Tupou missed the freebie.
Wilson went off the glass with a pull-up jumper to cut the deficit to two with 31.5 on the clock, and sophomore point guard Lance Ibesate made it a one-point game, 62-61, after sprinting in for a lay-up after grabbing a loose ball.
A Jeff Whicker free throw with 15.5 seconds left set up the final sequence.
"Oh, man, this is a great place to play. Win or lose, that was a great high school basketball game," an emotionally drained Eric Stockhausen, the Kings coach, said afterward. "We're very fortunate to have the outcome the way we have (it). Hats off to the Juneau kids and coach Potter, coach (Robert) Casperson. Their kids played their hearts out and we just got a lucky bounce here and there."
The Bears pounded the ball inside early, with senior forward Paul Tupou scoring the game's first bucket on the block. Wilson stuck a pull-up jumper in the lane and junior forward Colin Gozelski got a lay-up after a steal by DeRocher under the King' basket for a 6-2 Bears lead in the early going.
Yadao buried a triple from the top of the key for an 11-5 JDHS lead, but the Kings caught fire from behind the arc thereafter.
Whicker stuck a 3-pointer to ignite an 8-0 Ketchikan run, then went to the cup for a deuce before Chas Allen nailed another triple for a 14-11 Kings lead, forcing a Bears timeout.
Senior Lawrence Fenumiai answered inside for the Bears, but Jesse Lindgren went straight to the basket for a score and Allen splashed another 3-ball. A baseline jumper from Gozelski made it a 19-15 game after one quarter.
Whicker hit another 3-pointer to start the second quarter, but the Bears went on an 8-3 run to cut into the deficit. Two straight buckets inside by Fenumiai, one a tip-in of a blocked shot, the other off a dump-down pass from Gozelski, made it 27-25, Kings.
A Yadao stickback, a Tupou steal and lay-in and a breakaway Gozelski lay-up tied the game at 29-all midway through the second quarter. But the Kings closed with an 11-4 run, including Whickers' third and the Kings' sixth triple of the first half. Ketchikan blistered the nets, shooting 62.5 percent from the field in the game's first 16 minutes.
"I thought Whicker was really good for them. He killed us in the first half," Potter said. "It was good shooting by them, and a lot of bad defense by us. We weren't any where near them when they were shooting those."
The Bears caught a break with seven seconds to go as the Kings turned it over. Wilson took the inbound pass, dribbled, drove to the cup and spun in the lane with a banker off the glass at the buzzer to set the halftime score at 40-33, Kings.
JDHS went right back inside to Tupou after the break, but Whicker went the other way for three more the old-fashioned way before hitting a pull-up jumper in the lane for a 45-35 Ketchikan lead.
The Bears cut it to five, 49-44, after two straight Gozelski buckets inside, but Whicker buried a big 3-pointer with Yadao all over him after a Gozelski turnover to momentarily quiet the crowd as time ran down in the third.
Gozelski led three Bears in double figures with 18 points to go with nine boards, six assists and two steals. Tupou had 12 points, and Fenumiai had 10. Tupou also had eight rebounds.
Whicker led all scorers with 30 points on 9 of 14 shooting, propelling the Kings to a 54.8 percent night shooting the ball. Bell added 12 points for the Kings, eight rebounds and six assists.
"I thought we did a little bit better job defending in the second half," Potter said. "Tony did a great job defensively. We just need to get the other guys playing at that same level of intensity."
Where Potter was unhappy with his team's patience offensively at times, screaming for at least four passes per possession, Stockhausen was pleased with his team's execution.
"We have a couple of marquee players and other guys who fill their roles well," he said. "They understand what we want offensively and that's to get the best shot that we can."
JDHS won the battle on the boards 38-27, but the Kings outscored the Bears 21-3 from behind the arc and took 16 more free throws.
Phillip Fenumiai and Travis Godfrey led JDHS to big 62-40 JV win over the Kings. Twelve Bears scored, and seven had at least five points. Keagan Lervick led all scorers with 10 points.
The JDHS C Team also won big, 68-50, behind 15 points from Jackson Lehnhart and 11 from Darien Stanger.