Bloody noses, lead changes and last-second heroics: Juneau basketball fans have come to expect a battle from the girls basketball crosstown rivalry.
The Thunder Mountain High School team fell 42-39 in an overtime heartbreaker to Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday, as spectators were thrilled by another close game at the Thunderdome.
In a repeat of Friday’s match, JDHS senior Tona Fogg once again played the hero, this time making her team’s winning shots from the free-throw line. With 47 seconds left in overtime, Fogg split a pair of free throws to put her team up by two. Thunder Mountain then got the ball in the hands of senior Ava Tompkins, whose tying shot rattled out, forcing the Falcons to foul.
Tona Fogg found herself once again at the line, and split her shots from the charity stripe to put JDHS up by three points with 14 seconds to go. With the ball and a chance to force double overtime, TMHS’ Tompkins would dribble down and hand off to sophomore Cyrene Uddipa. Uddipa tried to find Tompkins for the game-tying three, but JDHS’ defense stifled any open look, and Tompkins’ last-second heave came up short.
The Crimson Bears’ Fogg led her team with 13 points. Senior Kallen Hoover had 10, and senior Cristina Aerhart added five. Freshmen Alyxn Bohulano and Erica Hurtte also scored five each.
The Falcons were led in defeat by Tompkins with 19. Freshman Nina Fenumiai played a stalwart game in the post, adding 10 points of her own and helping Thunder Mountain hold a slim lead for much of the game.
JDHS senior Aerhart had the brutal assignment of guarding TMHS’ talented freshman Fenumiai.
“She’s very good at playing basketball. She’s got her ground on the inside,” Aerhart said. To Aerhart, the close nature of the game galvanized her team’s identity. “We found our unity. It made us come together more at the end to realize that it was anybody’s game and the harder working team would get the results.”
In a reverse of Friday’s matchup, Thunder Mountain held a slim lead for much of the first half, and went to the locker room with a 15-13 lead. The Falcons added to their lead in the third, holding the Crimson Bears scoreless for the first three minutes. TMHS would go up six in the quarter.
JDHS got into the bonus early in the fourth quarter, and earned their way back into the game from the line, tying the Falcons, 36-36, at the end of regulation.
TMHS shot 12-of-21 at the line while JDHS went 16-of-28.
Thunder Mountain hosts Ketchikan next weekend for two games on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20.
Juneau-Douglas is off next weekend and travels to Ketchikan to play two games Feb. 26 and Feb. 27.
Game times for all matches are to be determined.