JDHS junior Sean Oliver takes a free throw shot during a game against Thunder Mountain High School on Thursday, Feb. 2. Oliver finished with a total of 20 points against the Crimson Bears’ most recent game against Palmer High School on Friday, Feb. 17. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)

JDHS junior Sean Oliver takes a free throw shot during a game against Thunder Mountain High School on Thursday, Feb. 2. Oliver finished with a total of 20 points against the Crimson Bears’ most recent game against Palmer High School on Friday, Feb. 17. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)

JDHS notches win against Palmer ahead of conference play

Crimson Bears now sit with a 14-7 record.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys basketball team held Palmer High School in the palm of their hands on Friday with a comfortable 75-46 non-conference win at home. The Crimson Bears managed to maintain a healthy lead starting from the second quarter forward and now have a 14-7 record with a 4-0 conference record.

Head coach Robert Casperson said with Palmer being a young team still, it always poses challenges because they’re a team with a great coach coupled with a lot of energy you can count on never throwing in the towel.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of growth and improvement for that team and they’re going to get a lot of lessons out of this season that they’ll build upon,” Casperson said. “For us, it was nice to see our defense really step up and the pressure in the second half took its toll. One of our goals that we talked about during halftime was having our defense create our offense, so that was a big piece of our second half run.”

JDHS junior Sean Oliver had a big game, making three 3-point shots within the first two quarters and finished with a total of 20 points, leading the team. Senior Orion Dybdahl followed behind with a total of 16 points. Seniors Caden Mesdag and Joseph Aline tied for a total of 8 points, which Casperson said was nice to see as not all of the players’ efforts are always reflected on the score sheet.

“Mesdag is a senior that comes off the bench for us and he’s really provided a spark with his time on the floor defensively,” Casperon said. “He’s hustling, he’s diving after loose balls, he’s sprinting and rotating traps, doing a lot of things that don’t always show up in the box score, but it was nice to see against Palmer some of that hustle turned into some points for him, which we were all pretty excited for him that he was able to do that because he’s been working really hard.”

JDHS senior Caden Mesdag, seen taking a free throw shot against Ketchikan on Feb. 11, scored a total of 8-points in Friday’s game against Palmer High School. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire file)

JDHS senior Caden Mesdag, seen taking a free throw shot against Ketchikan on Feb. 11, scored a total of 8-points in Friday’s game against Palmer High School. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire file)

Next up the Crimson Bears boys face off against Ketchikan High School on Friday and Saturday in Ketchikan for two conference games.

Casperson said the main thing the team will be watching for from Ketchikan is their shooting accuracy. Casperson said Ketchikan shot 52% from the 3-point line while at JDHS, that already high percentage could climb as the Kings are known for shooting best at home. While the Crimson Bears managed to win both home games against Ketchikan earlier this month, Casperson said they’ll need to do a better job defensively if they hope to see a repeat of wins this weekend.

“For us at this point, it’s going to be about executing and playing hard the whole way through,” Casperson said. “This team has really bought into that concept of no matter what the situation is, as long as there’s some time on the clock and some air in their lungs, they’re going to keep battling, so I would expect nothing less than that from them down in Ketchikan.”

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

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