According to junior Ryan Fagerstrom, the slogan for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team this year is "Fist, five individuals coming together as one."
The Crimson Bears lived that slogan in Tuesday's second round of the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic, claiming a 74-49 victory over the Dimond Lynx even though no Juneau player scored more than 11 points. In Tuesday's early tournament game at the JDHS main gym, North Kitsap of Poulsbo, Wash., beat Service 69-48.
Juneau (2-0 overall, 2-0 in the tournament) can win its 12th straight Capital City Classic title and 13th championship in 14 years when it plays North Kitsap, which also is undefeated in the tournament, at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Service and Dimond play each other at 3 p.m. Thursday for third place. There are no games today, with the skills contests at 4 p.m.
Tuesday's victory was Juneau's 35th straight in the Capital City Classic, dating back to an 80-60 loss to Bartlett in 1992, and gives the Crimson Bears a 40-1 overall record since the tournament started.
The Juneau players did a good job of sharing the ball, using their balance and depth to wear down the Lynx (1-2 overall, 0-2 in the tournament). Juneau coach George Houston had the luxury of playing 10-12 players regular minutes in the game, and all 16 saw action as he brought in waves of fresh players.
"We have balanced scoring. We don't have a superstar," said junior Scott Lesh, who came off the bench to score 11 points, grab two rebounds, make two assists and a steal. "Get us open, that's the point of our offense."
"We have a lot of depth," said Juneau senior co-captain Tom Derbesy, who was the other Crimson Bear to score 11 points while adding five rebounds. "If a team has a lot of egos, that can be a problem. But for us, we look at it as our strength. We can go in and play hard and know that we're still going to be fresh."
The guards also sparkled, as they held Dimond's leading scorer, Warren Lewis, to just 14 points after he'd scored 29 points in each of the Lynx's first two games this season.
"That was our main objective, to hold Lewis," said Juneau senior co-captain Larry Cooper, scored eight points.
"If we stop him (Lewis), he's their heart," added Juneau sophomore Will Egolf, who scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots. "We came out a lot harder today."
The Crimson Bears jumped out to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, and they continued the pressure through the second quarter as they built a 29-13 advantage before heading into the halftime break with a 33-19 lead.
In the third quarter Juneau slowly built its lead up to 45-25. Dimond had a chance to cut into the lead late in the quarter as the Lynx made four straight trips to the free-throw line over a period of 70 seconds, but Dimond only made two of eight shots. Juneau then hit two straight 3-pointers to end Dimond's potential run, and the Crimson Bears' lead would stay above 20 points the rest of the game.
"I think we improved from yesterday," said senior Kyle Huntsman, who scored seven points and added two assists. "We're a pretty deep team, and we get better looks (at the basket) if we pass the ball. We shared the ball, and I thought our defense stepped it up today."
Also making big contributions for the Crimson Bears were senior Norman Zura, who scored nine points, made four assists and grabbed four rebounds; junior Luke Miller, who had six points, two rebounds and two assists; and junior Tres Saldivar, who only scored three points, but had two steals and an assist while switching off with Cooper as they defended against Lewis.
Besides the 14 points from Lewis, Dimond picked up 13 points from Conor Scott, seven points from Justin Ore and six points and four rebounds from Andy Busch.
"We played pretty well, and obviously our focus was on Lewis," Houston said. "He had been averaging 29 points and he had 14 points tonight, seven in each half. North Kitsap will be a different challenge because they're stronger inside."
"Tonight was a test for our guards, and Thursday will be a test for our bigs (forwards)," Derbesy said. "North Kitsap is a bigger team, so they'll be a test for our bigs."
Vikings 69, Cougars 48
North Kitsap took advantage of another big third quarter to break open a close game against Service in Tuesday's early boys game in the Capital City Classic.
The Cougars closed the gap to two points, 20-18, midway through the second quarter and trailed 32-24 at halftime. Service closed the margin to six points early in the third quarter, but turnovers proved deadly as the Vikings of Poulsbo, Wash., capitalized on the Cougar mistakes and pulled away to a 53-33 lead entering the fourth quarter.
"We played a pretty good first half, but in the third quarter those turnovers just killed us, they flat-out killed us," Service coach Phil Jordan said, adding that his team did do a better job moving the ball down the court than it did in Monday's loss to Juneau-Douglas. "We can't turn the ball over like that. We're going to get pressed a lot, and by better presses than that, so we better get used to it."
Ryan Young scored 24 points in three quarter to lead North Kitsap (4-2 overall, 2-0 in the tournament), and even scored on an alley-oop dunk in the third quarter where he wound up landing on his tailbone. Jacob Gonzales added 13 points and Jared prince scored eight for the Vikings, who saw every player on their roster score points.
"I think it was more us (in the second quarter, when Service closed the gap), but you've got to give the other team credit," Young said. "We have a tendency of not playing well after the first couple of minutes. During halftime we were able to get our focus back in. We played a team in the lower end of our conference before we came up here (a 60-56 victory over Bremerton), and we won it in the fourth quarter. There's no way they should have been as close as they were, we should have beaten Bremerton by 20 points."
Mike Redlinger scored 15 points to lead the Cougars (1-4 overall, 0-2 in the tournament), while Alfredo Herrera added 13 and Markese Bookhard scored nine.
Charles Bingham can be reached at email@example.com.
CRIMSON BEARS 74, LYNX 49
Tuesday's boys game from JDHS
DIMOND (49) - Kyle Rochon 1 0-0 2, Warren Lewis 3 7-8 14, Prasad Dobbins 1 0-0 2, Andy Busch 2 1-3 6, Joe Moran 0 0-0 0, Janus Abello 0 1-2 1, Tim Evans 0 0-0 0, Andrew Conley 1 0-2 2, Tristan Davis 1 0-0 2, Conor Scott 5 3-8 13, Justin Ore 3 1-2 7, Randy Johnson 0 0-0 0, Mike Anderson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 13-25 49.
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS (74) - Larry Cooper 2 2-2 8, Norman Zura 4 0-0 9, Nico Saldivar 0 0-0 0, Tom Derbesy 5 1-5 11, Tres Saldivar 1 0-0 3, Luke Miller 2 2-2 6, Ryan Fagerstrom 2 0-0 4, Daryl Lew 1 0-0 2, Robert Beierly 0 2-2 2, Scott Lesh 4 1-3 11, Mychal Hutcherson 0 0-0 0, Kyle Huntsman 1 5-6 7, Cameron Cook 1 0-0 2, Clae Baker 1 0-0 2, Bryan Ryder 0 0-0 0, Will Egolf 3 1-2 7. Totals: 27 14-22 74.
DIMOND 6 13 10 20 - 49
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 17 16 20 21 - 74
3-point goals - Dimond 2 (Lewis 1, Busch 1), Juneau-Douglas 6 (Cooper 2, Lesh 2, Zura 1, T. Saldivar 1). Fouled out - Dimond 2 (Lewis, Ore), Juneau-Douglas 0. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Dimond 21, Juneau-Douglas 21.
VIKINGS 69, COUGARS 48
Tuesday's boys game from JDHS
NORTH KITSAP (69) - Jacob Gonzales 5 3-4 13, Chris Zeringer 1 0-0 2, Travis Tobin 3 0-0 6, Jordan Henry 1 0-0 2, Mychal Harris 1 0-0 2, Kevin Masnayon 1 0-0 2, Ryan Young 10 4-6 24, Jeff Ottele 1 2-2 4, Eric Schippers 1 0-2 2, Dan Yee 1 2-2 4, Jared Prince 3 2-4 8. Totals: 28 13-20 69.
SERVICE (48) - Sean Whitener 0 0-0 0, Spencer Cotten 0 2-2 2, Alfredo Herrera 4 5-7 13, Mike Redlinger 7 1-3 15, Markese Bookhard 2 4-4 9, Nash Cotten 1 0-0 3, Evan Wasserman 0 2-2 2, Marcus Lowe 1 0-0 2, Dumondd Odom 1 0-0 2, Brandon Britt 0 0-0 0, Cameron Allen 0 0-0 0.
NORTH KITSAP 18 14 21 16 - 69
SERVICE 9 15 8 16 - 48
3-point goals - North Kitsap 0, Service 2 (Bookhard 1, N. Cotten 1). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - North Kitsap 20, Service 15.