Last-second win over Lathrop caps JDHS boys road trip

The Juneau-Douglas High School boys completed a three-game road trip with a 61-59 win over Lathrop Saturday, closing the Malemutes out in a free throw shooting contest to go undefeated on the weekend.

JDHS trailed Lathrop until the last two minutes of the game, when a big shot by Sebastian Bradley tied the game 55-55 with a minute and a half to go.

Junior Erik Kelly then split a pair of free throws to give the Crimson Bears the 1-point lead. Kelly got to the line again with 43 seconds left, and again split his free throws for a 57-55 lead.

Lathrop’s Jeremiah Handy (20 points) then tied the game 57-57 by hitting both of his foul shots.

Kelly came up huge with a field goal and the foul from the low block with nine seconds left. He couldn’t complete the 3-point play, however, giving Lathrop the last possession and a chance to tie or hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with nine seconds left on the clock.

On the ensuing possession, Kelly fouled Lathrop’s Chateau Reed, who nailed both his free throws to tie the game 59-59.

JDHS’ Sebastian Bradley saved the day by getting to the line and hitting both his free throws with only a few ticks left on the clock to close the game 61-59.

Bryce Swofford and Kelly led JDHS with 16 points each. Kasey Watts followed JDHS’ big men with eight points.

Handy’s 20 points were a game-high. Following Handy for the Malemutes were Reed and Jake Carlson with 11 each.

JDHS heads back up North for four games next weekend against Chugiak, Soldotna, Houston and Palmer.

Traditionally, Southeast teams have a hard time making an impression up north as Anchorage and Fairbanks teams don’t much Region V competition. If the Crimson Bears can continue their hot streak against the rest of the state, they could vault up from No. 5 in the Alaska Association of Basketball Coach’s poll, and, more importantly, make their case for an at-large bid to the state tournament should they not win the Region V tournament.

• Contact Sports and Outdoors reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 or kevin.gullufsen@juneauempire.com.

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