ANCHORAGE - Unfortunately for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team, the Crimson Bears' experience at the Class 4A state tournament finished the same way it started.
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The Service High School boys exploited their speed advantage in Saturday's fourth-place game to win 55-48. With the loss, JDHS finished in sixth place.
"Obviously we had a lot of trouble with their quickness," JDHS coach Steve Potter said.
The smaller, quicker Cougars forced Juneau into 26 turnovers. Service turned the ball over just 13 times.
Will Egolf's putback with 1:39 left cut Service's lead to 47-46, but Service made 10 straight free throws to seal the win.
In all, Service hit 21 of 24 free throws, compared to 2 of 9 for JDHS.
"It means a lot for a program that won five games two years ago," Service coach Phil Jordan said. "It's a step toward being a successful program."
Much like Thursday's quarterfinal loss to Colony, Juneau-Douglas struggled against Service's pressure defense.
Juneau-Douglas scored by attacking the lane in the first half. Egolf had eight points and eight rebounds in the first half while Clae Baker added six points as JDHS took a 25-23 halftime lead.
In the second half, however, Service took control with its speed. Guards Marcus Lowe, Markese Bookhard and Josh Lopez created shots by penetrating the lane. The dribble penetration also led to 3-pointers for Bookhard and Jeremy Beckett.
Juneau had a hard time setting up its offense. Service frequently trapped the Bears' guards and forced steals and turnovers.
"We gave them a lot of trouble," Jordan said. "We want teams to dribble the basketball because of our quickness. It helped us out from 3-point line to 3-point line."
Egolf hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to cut Service's lead to 42-39, but Beckett answered with a 3-point shot of his own to quell Juneau's momentum.
Service's speed and free throw shooting then sealed the Bears' fate.
"A lot of it is playing in positions of power," Potter said. "When we executed our stuff, we got lay-ups. We just didn't do it all the time."
Egolf accounted for 21 points and 11 rebounds in his final JDHS game. The senior will play for Bradley University next year.
It also marked the final high school games for Nico Saldivar, Robert Beierly, Bryan Combs, Cameron Cook and Baker.
The Bears finished with a 22-5 record, winning 17 of their last 19 games.
"It's been the best four years of my life," Cook said.
Service 55, Juneau-Douglas 48
JDHS - 13 12 9 14 - 48
Service -17 6 17 15 - 55
JDHS (48) - Brinson 1-2 0-0 2; Saldivar 1-4 1-4 3; Ibesate 1-1 0-0 2; Larson 0-2 0-0 0; Clark 1-1 0-0 2; Beierly 2-6 1-3 6; Combs 0-0 0-0 0; Cook 3-6 0-2 6; Baker 3-11 0-0 6; Egolf 10-19 0-0 21; Levale 0-0 0-0 0.
Service (55) - Ginnett 4-8 4-5 12; Beckett 1-1 0-1 3; Lopez 3-9 4-4 10; Lowe 4-11 2-2 10; Bookhard 1-7 9-9 12; Cotton 0-0 0-0 0; Preston 3-7 2-4 8.
3-point shots - JDHS 2-13 (Beierly, Egolf), Service 2-9 (Bookhard, Preston).
Rebounds - JDHS 42 (Egolf 11), Service 20 (Preston 9).
Assists - JDHS 12 (Saldivar 5), Service 9 (Lowe 3).
Free throws - JDHS 2-9, Service 21-24.
Fouled out - JDHS 1 (Cook).
Fouls - JDHS 20, Service 12.
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