The girls aren't going alone.
Juneau-Douglas sophomore guard Lance Ibesate stole the ball from Ketchikan star Jeff Whicker and raced the length of the court for a lay-up and a thrilling 61-59 Crimson Bears victory in the late-night Southeast Conference championship game to earn a state tournament berth.
Fellow sophomore guard Tony Yadao splashed the biggest 3-pointer of his young career to tie the game at 59 with just 21 seconds remaining, and then Whicker drove to the basket from the left wing. As Whicker got to the front of the rim, Ibesate picked his pocket and too off for what proved to be the game-winning basket.
Whicker's deep 3-pointer as time expired missed, and the Bears and their fans celebrated the win at midcourt.
The Kings led 12-6 after one quarter of play and 26-24 at the break after sophomore guard Tony Yadao missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for JDHS.
The Kings started the third quarter with a 7-0 run to take a 33-24 lead as Ketchikan began to take control of the game.
But the Bears refused to go away, pulling within four, 38-34, before trailing by five, 41-36, after three quarters of play.
A Colin Gozelski steal and lay-up brought the Bears within three, 45-42, with just more than five minutes left, but Whicker answered with an and-1 that fouled out Victor Wilson for the Bears with 4:46 left in the game.
Gozelski got another steal and lay-up to make it 48-45 with less than four minutes to go.
Whicker set the Kings' single-season scoring record with on the play that fouled out Wilson.
Check Monday's Juneau Empire for more information and stats, and the full boys' All-Conference team.
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