The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Crimson Bears boys basketball team swept the visiting Kodiak Bears 94-70 Friday and 75-50 Saturday in the George Houston Gymnasium.
“We watched film on Kodiak and their record does not indicate how hard they play,” JDHS coach Robert Casperson said. “Or the talent that they have. We knew there were a couple guys that presented a really unique challenge for us with size and strength and speed. Which is great because these are our last two non-conference games that we get to use as a tuneup for our final conference games. There are guys in our conference that are similar in their abilities to some of the players on Kodiak.”
Saturday’s heroics featured junior Gavin Gerrin getting a starting nod and scoring 15 points in the first quarter including four shots past the arc as JDHS took a 22-11 lead after eight minutes and were never threatened again.
“It was really important for me,” Gerrin said. “It was my first opportunity to start for the team and I always kept my teammates in mind, they just always kept me going so I just want to say thank you to them. They are a big part of what I did out there. I feel like we all know what each other can do out there. Whenever somebody gets going it is easy to get them the ball.”
JDHS seniors Sean Oliver and Alwen Carrillo also notched two baskets apiece in the first stanza, and were the key front men in the Crimson Bears press.
Carrillo scored back-to-back baskets and had two steals in the first three minutes of the game and added another later in the stanza, while Oliver added two blocked shots. Carrillo would finish the game with six steals (unofficially) from his point position on the press.
“It means a lot,” Carrillo said. “Getting to be put in that situation and that position by my coach and my teammates means they trust me and I just need to do my part and my job. And make sure I do the right things and make the right plays for our team.”
Oliver would open the second quarter with a basket and a steal and Carrillo added a steal and fed Oliver for a basket. That tandem continued throughout the second stanza with Carrillo scoring twice and Oliver hitting twice from past the arc and twice inside. Senior Jonathan Sleppy added a key blocked shot and two rebounds in the stanza as JDHS opened a 37-17 halftime lead.
Oliver scored 57 points on the weekend, leading the Crimson Bears with 30 points on Friday and 27 on Saturday including a half-court shot that surprised the fans, coaching staff and himself as five minutes remained in the third quarter when he lofted the shot that banked in.
“Complete brain fart honestly,” Oliver said. “One of our soccer guys, Ahmer (junior Ahmer Parker), he yelled ‘two on me’ which is a soccer term apparently when two people run up on you I guess, but I thought it was two seconds and just launched it. It was bad awareness on my part for sure.”
Oliver’s shot made the score 48-22 and he and sophomore Brandon Casperson would close out the stanza with a slew of baskets that gave JDHS a commanding 65-34 lead with just eight minutes left to play and the Crimson Bears substitutions closed out the game for the 75-50 final.
“We wanted to get some good competition,” Oliver said of the weekend. “Kodiak is a good team and we watched them play against Thunder Mountain (A TMHS 71-49 win) Thursday night and we are getting prepared for all these conference games coming up.”
Oliver led JDHS on Saturday with 27 points, Gerrin added 15, Casperson 10, Carrillo eight, Parker five, senior Jhowel Estigoy four, Sleppy, senior Lamar Blatnick and junior Andy Ramirez two each.
JDHS hit 4-10 at the charity stripe, KHS 10-16.
Senior Aron Paguio led KHS with 17 points, junior Kelly Stickman 16, senior Martin Canaveral and juniors Shan Casabar and Liam Danelski four each, junior Bubba Basuel three and junior Mac Abellera two.
On Friday JDHS led 19-14 after eight minutes and 36-30 at the half as Oliver, Casperson, Gerrin and senior Jhowel Estigoy carried the scoring load. Carrillo and Parker joined the shooting contest in a 31-point third quarter to help JDHS hold a 74-45 advantage with eight minutes remaining and they earned another 20 points to near the century mark before the game ended.
Oliver led with 30 points, Casperson added 20, Carrillo 14, Parker and Estigoy 10 apiece, Gerrin five, seniors Alex Mallott and Ernel Penalosa two apiece and senior Lamar Blatnick one.
JDHS hit 10-14 from the charity stripe, KHS 17-22.
Paguio led KHS with 26 points, Ticman 19, Danelski nine, Canaveral and Casabar six apiece, Basuel and senior MJ Bostwick two apiece.
“This weekend was a good opportunity to work on some things and get ready for the final stretch run,” Coach Casperson said.
JDHS improved to an 11-8 record overall (1-1 Southeast Conference).
With the losses Kodiak falls to 6-12 (1-3 Northern Lights Conference) on the season.