The Juneau-Douglas boys basketball team treated the hometown fans to a fitting championship finish Tuesday night, closing out the Capital City Classic with a nail-biting 57-52 win over in-state rival Lathrop.
The win gave the Crimson Bears a perfect 3-0 record in the Classic and a 5-0 record thus far in the season.
Neither team pulled ahead by more than three points in the first quarter as the whirlwind pace picked up from the tip and raced to the end of the period. Eventually, junior point guard Reese Saviers' three at the buzzer ended the quarter in a 14-14 tie.
The start of the next period looked much the same, with both teams pushing the ball back after surrendering transition baskets. Things broke down defensively for the Crimson Bears later in the second, as the Malemutes' motion offense was able to get looks in half-court sets and a string of defensive stops led to breakaway lay-ups. Eventually, a 9-1 run to finish the second led to a 36-36 half-time lead for the 'Mutes.
Juneau-Douglas found some open space of their own in the third, as they began to beat Lathrop's perimeter traps for open looks inside and for open three pointers. The action slowed down for much of the period, and the Bears eventually stalled again in the uncomfortable pace. JDHS was held scoreless over the final three minutes, but ended the period down just 43-42.
Things looked bad for the Bears again in the fourth, as their opening possession lasted a full minute before Saviers missed a long three-point attempt. Junior wing Cody Grussendorf eventually found some space driving into the lane and hit a short jumper before finding sophomore forward Colin Gozelski with a nice assist to put JDHS up 51-47 with 1:34 remaining.
Both teams turned the ball over at least twice down the stretch, but a pair of free throws from Saviers stretched the lead to 55-49 with 22 seconds remaining. Lathrop hit a three-pointer with 16 seconds left, but two more Saviers free throws sealed the narrow win.
Sean Bavard led the Bears scoring effort with 14 points, including four three pointers. Saviers followed with 11 and Alex Fagerstrom added eight.
Lathrop was led by 14 points from Nathan Wilson and 13 from Nathan Wilson. Denzel Crump added 11 for the 'Mutes.
Anacortes 74, New Westminster 40
Anacortes bounced back from Monday's loss to the Crimson Bears with a big night from their top two scorers while keeping New Westminster winless.
The senior duo of Luke Averill and Mackenzie Larkin combined for 48 points to outscore the Hyaks by themselves.
New Westminster was led by 12 from Anthony Skou and 10 from Dejan Jovasevic.
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