JDHS senior Orion Dybdahl takes the ball down court while being closely guarded by two defenders on Wednesday night’s game. Dybdahl led the Crimson Bears in scoring with 19 points. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

JDHS senior Orion Dybdahl takes the ball down court while being closely guarded by two defenders on Wednesday night’s game. Dybdahl led the Crimson Bears in scoring with 19 points. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

JDHS loses close game against Colony

Wednesday night’s game was Suicide Prevention Awareness.

It was a nail-biter of a game Wednesday night with Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys team staying neck and neck against Colony High School, but despite the persistence of JDHS, Colony prevailed.

The Knights narrowly slipped past the Crimson Bears 57-52, but there was plenty of suspense to go around even into the final seconds of the game when at times JDHS trailed by as little as 1 point. JDHS managed to steal the ball in the final 15 seconds of the game but after a tipped pass to senior forward Orion Dybdahl sent the ball out of bounds, the boys never managed to complete the comeback.

Head coach Robert Casperson said after such a close game the main takeaways discussed in the locker room were the importance of finishing plays and getting in front of the score early and finding a way to stay there.

“Colony is a good team, so they’re never going to make it easy on you. They did give us some opportunities and we were able to make it exciting down the stretch,” Casperson said. “When you get to the end of a close game like that one was, that ends up making the biggest difference. A rebound in the first quarter can be just as important as a rebound in the fourth quarter when you’re talking about a two-point difference.”

Melissa McCormick and volunteers with nonprofit Find Your Fire hands out T-shirts and swag for the JDHS annual Suicide Prevention Awareness game Wednesday night. McCormick also gave a speech at halftime about the importance of mental health and tossed shirts into the crowd. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Melissa McCormick and volunteers with nonprofit Find Your Fire hands out T-shirts and swag for the JDHS annual Suicide Prevention Awareness game Wednesday night. McCormick also gave a speech at halftime about the importance of mental health and tossed shirts into the crowd. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Wednesday night’s game was also JDHS’s annual Suicide Prevention Awareness game, which is hosted by Melissa McCormick and her nonprofit Find Your Fire, along with the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition. McCormick gave a speech during halftime addressing mental health while delivering the message that everyone matters and the importance of taking time out for yourself.

Dybdahl led the Crimson Bears in scoring with a total of 19 points while junior Sean Oliver followed closely behind with a total of 13 points. Junior Alwen Carrillo had 10 points, senior Kai Hargrave had 7, junior Alex Mallott had 2 and Chris Harris had 1 point from a free throw shot in the fourth quarter.

JDHS senior Kai Hargrave sinks a 3-point shot in the third quarter during Wednesday night’s home game against Colony High School. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

JDHS senior Kai Hargrave sinks a 3-point shot in the third quarter during Wednesday night’s home game against Colony High School. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Next, JDHS faces off against Bartlett High School in Anchorage on Thursday for the O’Brady’s Invitational. Casperson said that while it’s a quick turnaround between games with two completely different teams that require entirely different approaches, the team is staying focused on being mentally locked in from start to finish.

“We fully expect they’re going to try to scramble us and trap and press full court, use their aggressiveness and athleticism, try to mix it up, so we gotta take care of the ball,” Casperson said. “That’s been one of the things we’ve been having problems with is too many turnovers, so if you’re turning the ball over and missing shots, it’s a lot of pressure on your offense to try and be successful. If we can clean some of that stuff up, start taking care of the ball better and start making some of the shots we know we can make, I think we’ll be okay moving forward.”

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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