The Juneau-Douglas boys basketball team surrendered just three points in the opening quarter to British Columbia's New Westminster Hyaks on Saturday and never took their feet off the gas, winning 76-40 in the nightcap of the Capital City Classic's opening day.
The sailing wasn't all smooth for the Crimson Bears, though, with senior forward Eric Gross' lay-up finally breaking a 2-2 tie four minutes into the game. Starting JDHS point guard Reese Saviers made sure the quarter ended with a bang, however, as he connected on a deep three-pointer from the elbow, nabbed two steals, and hit two lay-ups in the final 1:28. If that wasn't enough, he found sophomore Colin Gozelski with a crowd-pleasing behind-the-back assist as time expired to put Juneau-Douglas ahead 16-3.
Saviers opened the second quarter in style as well, hitting another three pointer before Corey Mahar found him with a nice assist on a lay-up just 40 seconds in.
Gross and the rest of the JDHS posts had plenty of early opportunities inside, but the Hyacks effectively collapsed onto shooters with a variety of zone defenses. Despite plenty of blocked and influenced shots, Gross was able to finish with nine points before half-time. Gozelski added six points of his own in the opening half, as the Bears raced to a 40-14 lead.
Juneau-Douglas expanded their lead to 48-18 midway through the third before falling into a slump for the rest of the quarter. JDHS junior forward Lawrence Fenumiai's four free throws, which included a bank shot for good measure, were all the points the Bears could muster in the period despite substituting the starters back in for the final 1:12.
Senior shooting guard Sean Bavard got the JDHS offense back on track early in the fourth with a three-pointer that he quickly followed with a steal and a lay-up in the opening seconds. JDHS head coach Steve Potter played his reserves for much of the remaining time and emptied his bench in the final minutes.
One of the final players to hit the floor was Eric's younger brother, freshman Evan Gross. The first-year post player converted a tough lay-up despite being fouled with 50 seconds to play, drawing a standing ovation from the Juneau crowd. Gross converted his free throw and two more from a New Westminster technical foul. He finished the game with five points.
Saviers led the Bears with 14 and Eric Gross added 11 as the only other JDHS player in double figures. Junior Alex DeRocher and Gozelski chipped in eight apiece. In all, a dozen Bears scored in the game.
Lucas Decoste, they Hyak's six-foot-six center, was the only New Westminster player to finish in double figures with 12 points. Tyrell Belton added seven. Desan Jovasevic and Andre Stroud chipped in six apiece.
JDHS's next game will be against Lathrop at 8 p.m. on Monday night. New Westminster will take on Anacortes at 3:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
Anacortes, Wash., 63, Lathrop 56
The Seahawks' big pair of versatile senior forwards, six-foot-four Luke Averill and six-foot-five Mackenzie Larkin, proved too much for the smaller Malemutes Saturday afternoon.
Averill, who came in averaging 19 points per game, put up 14 on Lathrop in the first quarter alone and finished with a game-high 22. Averill's efforts helped Anacortes jump out to a 21-13 lead after the first quarter.
Larkin, who averaged 26 points per game entering the contest, was held to just 12 points. However, five of those came in the crucial fourth quarter when the Seahawks overcame a 49-45 deficit.
Ryan Hayes was the only other Anacortes player to finish in double figures with 11.
Kris Beale was the top scorer for Lathrop, finishing with 14. Beale's total included a pair of three-point hits in the third that helped the Malemutes jump out to a quick second-half lead. Sam Green was the only other Lathrop player in double figures with 12, but was held scoreless in the fourth as his team fell late. Nathan Wilson chipped in eight for the 'Mutes.
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