The Juneau-Douglas girls basketball team rallied back from a rough start Saturday night to easily top the Palmer Moose 45-27 and complete the weekend sweep. The Bears won Friday night's matchup 58-49.
The Crimson Bears (2-0 overall) fell into an 11-2 hole just four minutes into the Saturday matchup, but got back into their full-court press and cranked up the pressure.
"We really get fired up from screaming and talking to each other on the bench, and I think we were just too quiet to start," junior Brittany Fenumiai said.
The pressure, kept fresh by coach Lesslie Knight's frequent and sometimes complete lineup substitutions, slowed the Moose offense and opened up plenty of easy points for the Bears. Juneau-Douglas eventually evened the score at 14-14 on Sarah Tarver's steal and breakaway layup with 13 seconds left in the first.
Both teams were slow to start the second, with the score still stuck at 17-16 with four minutes left. JDHS's mix of tight man-to-man defense and full-court presses got their momentum churning again late, however, and a spree of breakaways in the final four minutes lifted the Bears to a suddenly-cushy 30-16 lead at half-time.
Palmer was able to slow the pace considerably in the third quarter, using long offensive possessions to find open looks and keep the ball away from JDHS. The Bears managed just two points in nearly the first seven minutes of the period, before finally getting going again with two lay-ups in the final minute. For all their efforts, the Moose did not have much more luck in their slow-down offense, finishing the third quarter still down 36-23.
Juneau-Douglas got back on track in the fourth, outscoring Palmer 11-4 and breezing to the 11-point win.
Six different players scored between five and eight points for the Bears, led by Taylor Larsen with eight and Fenumiai with seven.
Jaimi Cox led the way for Palmer, despite battling foul trouble, and finished with seven points. Juliana Mangelsdorf and Rashayne Zimmer also added seven apiece.
"I think we doubted ourselves coming out in the third, but we got talking again and we knew we could finish this," sophomore Olivia Henderson said. "We played really good tonight."
Friday night's 58-49 win looked similar for the Crimson Bears, with seven players finishing with between five and 11 points. Hannah Swofford led the scoring with 11, while Annette Highley and Karli Brakes both chipped in eight.
Please look for full boxscores in Wednesday's sports section.