To paraphrase an old saying, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team hesitated and lost.
The Crimson Bears became a little tentative when moving the ball up the court to open the overtime period Saturday night against the East Anchorage Thunderbirds, and the T-Birds took advantage as they turned three steals into six points en route to an 85-84 victory at the JDHS main gym.
The victory gave the teams a split of their two-game non-conference series, as Juneau beat East 89-75 on Friday in a game Juneau led by 26 points midway through the third quarter.
"You played hard and they played hard, but you lost," Juneau senior center Byron Wild said after scoring 19 points on Saturday. "Each player can look back and see mistakes he made. We had our chances."
"Tonight was a hell of a high school basketball game," Juneau coach George Houston said. "Both teams played hard. It was just a great game. We had a couple of possessions where we got tentative, and East took advantage. I'm really disappointed to lose the game, but I'm not devastated. I thought it was a great game for the fans to watch."
The game was tied 77-77 at the end of regulation, and both teams swapped buckets at the start of the four-minute extra period. Then East, which had been pressing all game, stepped up its pressure another notch. The Thunderbirds (11-9 overall) made three quick steals before Juneau could get the ball past midcourt and turned them into a six-point lead, 85-79, with 2 minutes, 27 seconds left.
Juneau rallied as Sterling Henderson made a free throw and Bryan Hamey made two free throws. Then, after Henderson missed two free throws, Hamey scored on a rebound to close the gap to one point with 57.6 seconds left.
The Crimson Bears (11-7) trailed by one point when they got the ball back with about 30 seconds left in the overtime. Juneau worked the ball around, running time off the clock while looking for an open shot. With about five seconds left, Wild had the ball down low, started to stumble and tossed the ball to Hamey in the left corner. Hamey put up a quick 3-pointer that missed, and Juneau's Nik Hura grabbed the rebound and put up a shot that was partially blocked by East's Rickey Mason as the buzzer sounded.
"I wasn't really surprised," East coach Fred Young said of the three overtime steals, by Mason, Jordan Jamestown and Bennie Holt. "That's what we talked about in the huddle. I told them we have to go really hard at them for the first two minutes of the overtime. They're going to expect us to lay back, and we need to turn it up and catch them by surprise."
"We had trouble with their pressure in the second half," Hamey said. "We hit some free throws and made a couple of layups to get back in it. We just couldn't close it out."
Saturday's game was close, but Juneau took the early lead when East's Jordan Jamestown picked up his third foul in the first quarter and Ozelle Jamestown picked up his third foul in the second quarter. The Jamestown brothers, who grew up in Angoon and combined for 44 points in Friday's game, picked up their fourth fouls early in the third quarter and both went to the bench until the fourth quarter.
Juneau led 62-53 entering the fourth period, and still led 64-56 when Ozelle Jamestown fouled out with 6:33 left. That's when East went on a 17-3 run to take a 73-67 lead with 2:34 left. Juneau trailed by one or two points until Alex Heumann made a pair of free throws with 22.8 seconds left to tie the score at 77-77. East had two scoring attempts in the last 9.3 seconds, but both shots missed.
Mason and Casey Flair both scored 16 points to lead East, with Flair grabbing nine rebounds and making three steals. Ozelle Jamestown scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the T-Birds, with Ben Eppenger-Robinson adding 12 points and Tony Wilson, who made a 55-foot 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, scored 10 points.
Juneau also had five players in double-figure scoring, with Wild leading the way with 19 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Henderson added 15 points, while Joe Ayers scored 12 points and Heumann and Hamey had 11 points each.
In Friday's game, East came out in a zone defense and Juneau made the T-Birds pay. Heumann hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Crimson Bears jumped out to a 20-11 lead at the end of the period. Juneau, which didn't miss a free throw until late in the third quarter, led 46-29 at halftime and took a 26-point lead, 64-38, with 2:21 left in the third quarter. East, which by this time was using a pressure defense, closed the gap to 14 points at the end of the game.
"A shooter likes to see a 2-3 (zone)," Heumann said. "I was not expecting to see that. We were expecting them to press all the time."
"They're definitely a better team than they showed," Henderson said. "East is probably the quickest team we've faced."
Hamey led Juneau with 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and three blocks, while Henderson had 17 points, Heumann scored 12 and Ayers added 10. All 10 players on Juneau's roster scored points as the Crimson Bears shot 62 percent from the field (29-for-47).
Ozelle Jamestown led East with 27 points and seven rebounds, while Jordan Jamestown added 17 points, five rebounds and three steals. Flair scored 10 points for the T-Birds, who shot 46 percent (25-for-54) in a losing cause.
"We just got out to a slow start," said Ozelle Jamestown, who called the trip to Juneau a homecoming. "We need to come together as a team. We need someone to step up and be a leader. We all need to believe in each other. If we can come out in the first half tomorrow and play like we did in the second half today, we'll do OK."
"We were playing lazy in the first half," said Jordan Jamestown, who added that it was cool to see his family make the trip from Angoon to watch the game. "We tend to lay back (in a zone) and they've got some good shooters. We've got to get in it and run tomorrow."
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THUNDERBIRDS 85, CRIMSON BEARS 84, OT
Saturday's boys boxscore from Juneau-Douglas High School
EAST ANCHORAGE (85) - Johnathan Zuker 1 1-2 3, Jordan Jamestown 1 1-4 3, Tony Wilson 4 1-2 10, Rickey Mason 6 3-4 16, Mike Madrid 0 0-0 0, Charleston Macon 1 0-0 2, Casey Flair 6 3-4 16, Ozelle Jamestown 7 1-3 15, Ben Eppenger-Robinson 5 2-3 12, Bennie Holt 2 4-5 8, Joe McNair 0 0-0 0, A'Lan Owens 0 0-0 0. Totals: 33 15-27 85.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (84) - Joe Ayers 3 5-6 12, Sterling Henderson 4 7-10 15, Alex Heumann 4 2-2 11, Nik Hura 1 4-5 6, Bryan Hamey 4 2-4 11, David Jones 0 0-0 0, Byron Wild 6 7-9 19, Kolt Garvey 0 0-0 0, Josh Monagle 1 0-0 2, Adam Nelson 4 0-0 8. Totals: 27 27-36 84.
EAST ANCHORAGE 15 21 17 24 8 - 85
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 19 20 23 15 7 - 84
3-point goals - East Anchorage 3 (Wilson 1, Mason 1, Flair 1), Juneau-Douglas 3 (Ayers 1, Heumann 1, Hamey 1). Fouled out - East Anchorage 1 (O. Jamestown), Juneau-Douglas 1 (Ayers). Technical fouls - East Anchorage 1 (Eppenger-Robinson 1), Juneau-Douglas 0. Total fouls - East Anchorage 28, Juneau-Douglas 21.
CRIMSON BEARS 89, THUNDERBIRDS 75
Friday's boys boxscore from Juneau-Douglas High School
EAST ANCHORAGE (75) - Johnathan Zuker 0 0-0 0, Jordan Jamestown 6 5-9 17, Tony Wilson 2 2-4 8, Rickey Mason 0 0-0 0, Mike Madrid 0 1-2 1, Charleston Macon 1 0-0 2, Ozelle Jamestown 9 8-15 27, Ben Eppenger-Robinson 1 2-2 4, Bennie Holt 3 0-1 6, Joe McNair 0 0-0 0, A'Lan Owens 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 19-35 75.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (89) - Joe Ayers 2 5-5 10, Sterling Henderson 6 4-4 17, Alex Heumann 4 0-0 12, Nik Hura 3 2-2 9, Bryan Hamey 5 8-11 18, David Jones 3 1-2 7, Byron Wild 3 0-0 6, Kolt Garvey 0 1-4 1, Josh Monagle 2 1-2 5, Adam Nelson 1 2-2 4. Totals: 29 24-32 89.
EAST ANCHORAGE 11 18 18 28 - 75
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 20 26 23 20 - 89
3-point goals - East Anchorage 4 (Wilson 2, Flair 1, O. Jamestown 1), Juneau-Douglas 7 (Heumann 4, Ayers 1, Henderson 1, Hura 1). Fouled out - East Anchorage 1 (J. Jamestown), Juneau-Douglas 1 (Ayers). Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - East Anchorage 28, Juneau-Douglas 27.