Big second half lifts Bears past Cobras

Australian team hangs tight but JDHS boys prevail

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2007

The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team overcame a game Club Kilsyth team from Australia to win its Capital City Classic opener Thursday.

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The Crimson Bears (4-2) trailed by as much as 11 points but battled back to win 71-62.

JDHS fought back by playing more of a full-court pressure style in the second half against the athletic Cobras.

"That was our intent," said JDHS coach Steve Potter. "They're pretty athletic and did a nice job. But I thought if we kept going, we had more guys suited for that style. I thought it worked out. We made some progress from our last game, certainly."

Juneau-Douglas trailed most of the game until Sean Bavard's 3-pointer with seconds left in the third quarter put his team up 47-44.

Bavard then opened the fourth quarter with another 3-pointer as JDHS regained momentum.

"That got the crowd into it, and I'm sure the crowd got the rest of the players into it," Bavard said.

JDHS 71, Club Kilsyth, Aus., 62

JDHS 12 16 19 24 - 71

Kilsyth 17 15 12 18 - 62

JDHS (71) - Brinson 14, Hotch 4, Mahar 0, Waters 2, Saviers 3, Grussendorf 5, Craig 2, Ibesate 0, Larson 6, Lauth 0, Gross 16, Gundersen 0, Bavard 6, Fenumiai 0, Levale 13

Club Kilsyth (62) - Meager 0, Allison 4, Naburgs 9, Marsh 0, Adnam 0, Knott 31, Ward 7, Makrides 1, Creed 0, Hudson 2, Anderson 6, Robinson 2, Hallum 0.

Tahoma, Wash. 49, Wasilla 40

Tahoma 5 9 21 14 - 49

Wasilla 8 10 8 14 - 40

Tahoma (49) - Hansen 0, Burns 0, Chase 0, Eckard 10, Gudde 0, Boyer 10, Johnson 0, Behrens 0, Clark 9, Kitzes 3, Rainer 17

Wasilla (40) - Gray 2, Kroon 7, Sliwa 0, Lavern 6, Pearce 10, Johannes 13, Bydlon 0, Mock 0, Green 2, Flowers 0, Knowles 0, Schwochet 0.

Potter said, "It helps to see your work rewarded. We were playing pretty hard, I thought, and we haven't been shooting very well. Sean is an extremely good shooter, and he came in and knocked them down."

Juneau-Douglas also received a terrific effort from forward Faifo Levale. The senior scored 13 points, but more importantly, drew four charges against Club Kilsyth.

"We were down a lot in the first half so every stop was huge," Bavard said.

Juneau-Douglas took its first lead since it was 4-3 shortly after the opening whistle when Ryan "Bubba" Larson connected on a 3-pointer to make the score 44-42. Kilsyth's Jye Allison tied the score but Bavard's 3-pointer gave JDHS a 47-44 lead.

Prior to Juneau's run, however, Club Kilsyth dictated the game with its fast-break offense.

The Cobras' Adam Knott enjoyed a monster game, especially in the first half. Knott scored 22 of his game-high 31 before halftime.

"Back home we focus a lot on fast breaks and going straight down to the basket," Knott said. "Going as quickly as you can to the basket can lead to the easiest points in the game. We definitely tried to capitalize early, and it paid off."

Knott repeatedly found open lanes and grabbed offensive rebounds en route to 22 first-half points as the Cobras led 32-28 at halftime.

Despite the 36-hour plane ride from Melbourne to Juneau, Club Kilsyth came out unafraid to start Thursday night's contest.

The Cobras used their athleticism and speed in transition to take an early lead. Knott scored seven points during an 11-0 run midway though the first quarter. Club Kilsyth took a 17-12 lead after the first quarter.

"We were energetic and ready to play," Knott said. "We were prepared for a long time. We were really focused."

Juneau-Douglas used its size and bulk inside to trim the margin. Levale scored eight points in the second quarter almost exclusively inside.

Cody Grussendorf added a 3-pointer as JDHS crept to within four of Club Kilsyth as the Cobras led 32-28.

After halftime, Juneau-Douglas played some fast-break basketball of its own to overtake Club Kilsyth.

The Cobras will face Tahoma, Wash., at 3:45 p.m. today while JDHS battles the defending Class 4A state champions, Wasilla, at 8 p.m. tonight.

Tahoma, Wash., 49, Wasilla 40

Tahoma High School from Tahoma, Wash., battled back from an 18-14 halftime deficit to defeat Wasilla on Thursday.

Erik Rainer drained five 3-point shots to lead all scorers with 17 points.

Raymond Eckard and Mitch Boyer scored 10 points each for the Bears.

For Wasilla, Tyler Johannes had 13 points. Dexter Pearce scored 10 points and Tillerman Kroon chipped in seven points for the Warriors (1-2).

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