Juneau-Douglas blew open a close game in the third quarter and held off a furious Thunder Mountain rally down the stretch as the Crimson Bears ruined the Falcons' first senior night with a 64-57 Southeast Conference boys' basketball win Thursday at TMHS.
Due to the game's late start and finish, there wasn't time to get comments from players or coaches.
Thunder Mountain couldn't buy a free throw at times, shooting an abysmal 13-for-31 on the night, severely hindering the Falcons' chances. JDHS was an efficient 9 of 13 from the stripe.
The Falcons took the early lead but Juneau-Douglas went on a 7-2 run, with three straight coming on a Colin Gozelski runner in the lane and free throw for a 7-3 Bears lead.
A 3-pointer from the corner by senior guard Reese Saviers ignited a 13-2 TMHS run to close out the first quarter. Senior guard Torey Franzen went baseline for a deuce, followed by a free throw for fellow senior Cody Grussendorf. Saviers then corralled a long rebound and sprinted for a lay-up.
Grussendorf then made a tough shot in the lane and was fouled for an old-fashioned 3-point play and a 14-7 TMHS lead with 1:26 left in the first quarter.
Gozleski stopped the run with a leaner in the lane, but freshman forward Sam Jahn answered inside off a dish from Grussendorf, and the Falcons led 16-9 after one.
Gozelski took over early in the second quarter, scoring the Bears' first six points, including a baseline drive and a nifty spin move to the cup before knocking down a jumper.
Two free throws from senior Alex DeRocher further cut into the Falcon cushion, and a triple from the top of the key by sophomore guard Lance Ibesate gave the Bears back the lead, 20-18, at the midway point.
The teams traded scores but the Bears closed the half 4-0 after senior forward Paul Tupou scored inside and Gozelski got an easy lay-up off a behind-the-back pass from senior wing Victor Wilson for a 27-22 JDHS lead at the break.
Poor free throw shooting cost the Falcons severely in the first half as TMHS players combined to go 3-for-12.
Things got sloppy for the Falcons early second half as the Bears opened with a 6-0 run, with two lay-ups coming after TMHS turnovers.
Saviers finally made a free throw at the midway point for the Falcons' first score, cutting the deficit to 10, 33-23, but JDHS closed the third with an 8-2 run for a 43-29 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
The Falcons outscored the Bears 28-21 in the fourth quarter to cut into the deficit, but got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
JDHS won the battle on the boards 45-40 and outshot the Falcons from the field, 40.3 percent to 34.5.
Grussendorf led all scorers with 22 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists, while Saviers had 16 points.
Gozelski had 21 points and nine boards, DeRocher 12 points, and senior forward Eric Sele had a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards for JDHS.
Saturday's boys' game at JDHS begins at 8 p.m., with senior-night festivities at 7:50. The girls tip off at 6, with the senior ceremony 10 minutes prior.
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