Two fourth-quarter surges on Saturday led to different outcomes at Thunder Mountain High School.
Both the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys and girls teams went on late-game tears to overcome deficits, but only the girls were able to pull out a victory. The Thunder Mountain High School boys held on for an overtime win in a 56-55 nail-biter.
“At the end of the day, I just love that we got to play 36 minutes of basketball,” said TMHS coach John Blasco in a post-win interview. “I think we gave the fans a great night of basketball. It was a fun high school basketball game.”
At one point in the third quarter, the Falcons led by 11, but by the end of the quarter, that had dwindled to a 6-point lead. Behind strong shooting from Alwen Carrillo and Sean Oliver, the game was tied at 48 by the end of the fourth.
In overtime, TMHS got 4 points each from M.J. Tupou and Thomas Baxter, who led all scorers with 20 points. Late free throws wound up being the difference in the game as JDHS’ Orion Dybdahl scored four in overtime, and a 3-pointer from Carrillo at the buzzer left the Crimson Bears 1 point shy of forcing more basketball and 2 shy of the win.
With the win, TMHS’ record improves to 6-8 overall and 1-3 in conference. JDHS’ record is now 4-12 overall and 1-1 in conference.
The Juneau-Douglas girls stormed back to a win in the fourth quarter despite trailing at the end of each of the first three quarters.
The Crimson Bears outscored the Falcons 18-11 over the final quarter to pull out a 42-33 win.
Rebekah Grube shot well in the game, and 3-pointers from her helped close the gap. Skylar Tuckwood also played well late chipping in a 3-pointer to help J-D take the lead and capitalizing on fast breaks en route to putting the game out of reach.
The JDHS girls now have a 12-4 record overall and a 2-2 conference record. TMHS’ record is now 4-11 and 0-4 in conference.
Friday night gymnasium lights
Two hard-fought Friday night games at Thunder Mountain High School led to two Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé victories.
The JDHS boys and girls basketball teams each snatched wins against their TMHS counterparts in a pair of games that were tighter than their final scores indicate.
The J-D boys won 63-50 with a major lift from Alwen Carrillo’s 21 points.
“They’ve been playing extremely hard the last few weeks,” said JDHS boys coach Robert Casperson following the Friday night win. “It’s just shots haven’t fallen, but tonight, maybe it was playing at home —essentially —being in our hometown, sleeping in our own beds that made a difference. The guys did a great job I’m extremely proud.”
Thomas Baxter led the scoring for TMHS with 21 points, tying Carrillo for the game high.
Thirteen of Carrillo’s points came in a bombastic first quarter that saw JDHS jump out to a 17-6 advantage. TMHS clawed back to within 7 points at multiple points in the contest, including the fourth quarter. However, the comeback effort fell short.
Kai Hargrave went 6-for-6 on free throws in the fourth quarter to help preserve the Crimson Bears’ lead. Casperson said the relatively young team showed signs of “learning to how to win” and managing the clock.
“It is a young group, and they’re gaining a ton of experience, and this game was very valuable for adding to our experience,” Casperson said.
TMHS now sports a 5-8 record with an 0-3 record in conference. JDHS’ record sits at 4-11, and 1-o in conference games.
The JDHS girls won 47-37 in a game that featured lead changes, turnovers and frantic scrambles for virtually every loose ball.
While the J-D girls led at the end out of three of four quarters, TMHS held a 1-point lead at the half.
However, JDHS opened the second half by outscoring the Falcons 15-5 to build a 9-point advantage. Some 3-pointers late in the game, including a dagger from Trinity Jackson to put the Crimson Bears up 10 in the fourth quarter, kept TMHS from mounting a serious comeback threat.
JDHS’ record is now 11-4 overall and 1-2 in conference. TMHS’ record is 4-10 over all and 0-3 in conference.
Both teams will play Saturday night with the girls set for a 5:15 tipoff, and the boys’ game starting at 7 p.m.