Crimson Bears beat Falcons at Region V tourney

The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team beat Thunder Mountain High School in the first round of the Region V tournament at Mount Edgecumbe High School on Tuesday.

The Crimson Bears, who held a 20-point advantage in the second quarter, cruised to a 69-56 win, earning the right to play Ketchikan today at 4:45 p.m. JDHS held the lead the entire game, using their size advantage to outplay TMHS on the glass. A revolving cast of scorers have led JDHS this season, and senior guard Kaleb Tompkins played the lead role on Tuesday with 21 points.

TMHS found a bit of hope in the third quarter, briefly trimming the lead to nine points. Crimson Bears coach Robert Casperson remains confident in his team’s play, but wants to see his boys keep their intensity throughout.

“This group can be an enigma when it comes to that,” he said. “They come out like gangbusters in the first half, then we go through that lull in the third quarter and the game gets interesting again. I never felt the game was in jeopardy, but it got closer than it needed to.”

Following Tompkins’ 21 points, JDHS was led by senior guard Treyson Ramos with 12, sophomore forward Erik Kelly with 11, junior forward Bryce Swofford with nine and senior guard Guy Bean with eight.

TMHS has played in one of the toughest conferences in the state this year, with both Juneau-Douglas (currently ranked No. 3 in the state) and Ketchikan (ranked No. 4) sitting atop the Region V leaderboards. Coach John Blasco’s team always play until the buzzer, but the Falcons felt they could have played much better.

“We didn’t execute anything we wanted and they’re knocking down good shots, taking it right at us, building a real comfortable lead,” he said. “I appreciate guys not quitting in the second half, but 20 points is a lot to overcome against a good team.”

Falcons senior forward Moa Maka is one of his team’s best shooters, and led TMHS with 14 points including two 3-point shots. Junior guard Chase Saviers had 10 points, and senior guard RJ Manning added nine.

The Crimson Bears hit nine 3-pointers in the contest, with most of those coming on inside-out plays. The Falcons made five from beyond the arc.

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