At the sixth annual Jerry Tarkanian Classic, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team took in Las Vegas in more ways than one.
Beginning Wednesday, the Crimson Bears played four games against Las Vegas schools at Faith Lutheran and Coronado high schools, facing adversity right out of the gate in a 70-53 loss to Shadow Ridge.
The Mustangs made nine 3-pointers and JDHS fell 70-53, but the loss seemed to focus the Juneau team over the remainder of the tournament, losing by single-digits twice before ousting Valley High School 61-52 in their last game. JDHS lost to Western 49-47 on Thursday before falling 66-57 against Del Sol in another close contest on Friday.
“The learning curve is steep — Mount Everest style — but not insurmountable,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “I like the progress we made. We started working on some different things and got better in some different aspects against some very tough and physical and athletic teams.”
Sophomore Cooper Kriegmont was the high-point man in three out of the four games. The 6-foot-1 guard finished the tournament with 64 points, including 21 in the loss to Western.
Senior Krishant Samtani led the Crimson Bears with 18 points in their win over Valley. Unlike its previous three contests, JDHS built a sizeable lead against Valley, leading by close to 20 points in the second half.
The Crimson Bears now gear up for the Princess Cruises Capital City Classic at JDHS. They play in their first game on Thursday night against Lathrop at 7 p.m. before taking on Barrow and Maine-Endwell over the next two nights.