It seems there are several paths to victory for the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team.
The Crimson Bears plowed their way to another win against Kodiak Saturday night, but instead of offense, the second of JDHS’ two homecoming games featured defense, turnovers and rebounding.
Juneau-Douglas (9-2) bested Kodiak (1-5) by dominating on the defensive side of the ball. Senior forward Bryce Swofford would add the exclamation point to Saturday’s game, bringing his bench to their feet with a fourth-quarter dunk on the way to a 65-34 win.
Though the dunk added emphasis, JDHS’ team defense provided the real highlight, as it smothered Kodiak in the halfcourt and sent them on long scoring droughts throughout the game. JDHS looked to trap Kodiak’s shooters on the perimeter and force Kodiak to pass the ball inside, where JDHS’ bigs forced tough shots and out-rebounded their opponents.
“We were trying to execute a few new wrinkles on defense, so we were trying to get some game experience with that. I was proud of the way the guys played defensively in the halfcourt,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said.
Sophomore forward Erik Kelly led the Crimson Bears in scoring with 19 points.
Kodiak’s Ryan Bezona had 10.
Kodiak played better Saturday than Friday, coach David Anderson reported, but the shots simply weren’t falling.
“We shot probably less than 10 percent. We had a lot of open looks … I think we went zero for 10 to start. At halftime I felt it should have been a four- or five-point game.” Coach Anderson felt his perimeter defense “was a lot better … We went out there a little bit further and extended the defense, but they did get some second shot opportunities that we were trying to limit.”
JDHS jumped to an early lead in the game, earning four steals and keeping Kodiak scoreless for the first four minutes. Kodiak got to the free-throw line consistently but scored only one field goal in the first quarter. In the second quarter, six different JDHS players scored as the Crimson Bears were able to rebound their way to two or three attempts per possession and went to the locker room up 35-12.
Kodiak had a good third quarter, and doubled their point total in the period, but were unable to slow Juneau’s offense down. They were able to cut the deficit to 18 at the beginning of the fourth, but were once again held scoreless for more than four minutes as JDHS built their lead back.
JDHS plays again at Ketchikan on Friday, Jan. 29.