A rough-shooting first half played into the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team’s 66-40 demise against Colony High School on Thursday night at JDHS.
JDHS sophomore Cooper Kriegmont scored 19 points and senior Krishant Samtani scored seven as the visiting Knights defense stood tall — literally — with several players listed at 6-foot-3-inches or above.
“I think as a team we need to be more aggressive on our shots, maybe work a little bit longer to take better shots,” Kriegmont said. “I can blame myself for that a little bit.”
Sophomore Patrick McMahon finished with a game-high 20 points and senior Kyle Dearborn had 11 points for Colony, who play against Thunder Mountain on Friday and Saturday night.
It was the fourth win in a row and ninth of the season for the Knights (9-1), who have come to feel at home on road. Colony High School’s gymnasium sustained damage during the Nov. 30 magnitude 7.0 earthquake, leaving it “closed indefinitely as engineers assess structure damage,” according to the Frontiersman.
“We don’t have our home gym this year because of the earthquake,” McMahon said. “So all our games are on a different court so we’ve just gotten used to it.”
Colton Spencer and Jeremiah Hersrud knocked down 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Knights raced out to a 18-7 advantage.
JDHS coach Robert Casperson said there was too little passing by his team in the first quarter.
“I felt like the few times we did move the ball well, and relocated offensively, we got some open shots, but never made them,” Casperson said. “Those could turn the tide a little bit — at least keep you in it, let you feel better about yourself. But sometimes that basket can get a little smaller if you end up missing a couple in a row.”
McMahon started to heat up in the second quarter, scoring six points, before pouring it on in the third with 10 points. McMahon’s coast-to-coast drive and layup gave the Knights their largest lead of the game, 41-13, in the first two minutes of the second half. The rangy sophomore didn’t stop there, scoring his team’s next four field goals over the rest of the quarter.
“Our team chemistry is really high, and all us are really skilled I think,” McMahon said. “We play really hard every day, and we practice really hard every day, too.”
Kriegmont matched McMahon almost point for point in the third period, keeping the Crimson Bears’ deficit from getting any worse.
“Coming into this game, I wanted to prove myself a little bit as another sophomore that can compete in the state,” Kriegmont said.
The short intermission between the third and fourth quarters was one of the few times play stopped in the second half. The Knights didn’t commit a single foul in the third quarter, and none in the first six minutes of the fourth either. The clean play worked to the victor’s advantage, said Casperson.
“There’s no free throws; there’s no regrouping,” the coach said.
JDHS made six of 10 free throws; Colony made seven of 11.
JDHS (4-4) finishes out the week with Southeast Conference matchups against Ketchikan 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday night.