The Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team ended the regular season with a pair of wins over Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé as both teams head to Ketchikan for the Region V tournament.
The JDHS girls also won out over TMHS on Friday and Saturday, winning by 20 points in the second game.
The JDHS boys led 11-10 after the first quarter of the Friday night game, but the Falcons went on to outscore the Crimson Bears 48-32 the rest of the way, at times enjoying an advantage of more than 20 points, for a 58-43 win.
“The first quarter, they came out, they had five offensive rebounds, they were attacking our basket hard, we couldn’t contain Alwen (Carrillo),” said TMHS coach John Blasco. “We just had to figure out our defense and apply different pressure to contain him.”
Carrillo, a sophomore, scored all 11 of JDHS’ points in the first quarter. However, the TMHS defense tightened up, aggressively pursuing steals, and the tide of the game turned. All of Carrillo’s team-high 13 points came in the first half. Chris Harris, a junior, and Sean Oliver, a sophomore, each scored 6 points for the Crimson Bears.
TMHS’ leading scorer was Thomas Baxter, also a sophomore. Baxter led all scorers with 29 —exactly half of his team’s total —while making seven 3-pointers.
“He’s a talented player, and when he plays with that emotion and he’s knocking down shots, we ride it,” Blasco said. “We jumped on his back, and he carried us hitting some big 3s that just kind of kept that momentum for us.”
Sam Lockhart, a sophomore, also broke double-digits for TMHS, finishing the game with 12 points.
Friday night’s game was the second Take a Timeout to Talk — Suicide Prevention Awareness game.
For the occasion, players, coaches and fans wore purple, a color associated with suicide prevention and awareness. Items promoting suicide awareness were tossed into the bleachers, fliers providing information about local mental health resources were available near the entrance of the gym and Juneau School District Superintendent Bridget Weiss spoke about the importance of suicide prevention and awareness.
Weiss said the past couple of years have been stressful and many have experienced anxiety, depression and thoughts of self-harm.
“I myself have experienced in my lifetime, some very close people that I love dearly and I am so glad they had someone to reach out to,” Weiss said. “It’s so important. Please know there are people around you that care, that we want you to reach out to.”
Weiss thanked event sponsors NAMI Juneau, Find Your Fire, Healing Hands Foundation and Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at (800) 273-8255. It is available 24/7.
JDHS enjoyed senior night, recognizing players and families from both the boys and girls team between games.
Saturday night started with the JDHS girls taking the lead early, leading 12-9 at the first quarter and 26-16 at the half.
“I thought it went really well,” said coach Steve Potter. “We had a couple of bonus threes in the first and second quarter.”
Going 37-23 at the third quarter, JDHS ran away with it, finishing 55-35 at full time.
“I felt like we were really balanced,” Potter said. “I think we did a really good job of looking out for each other.”
While the girls are the No. 2 seed, tailing number one Kasyhi, Potter says their priorities are taking it one game at a time.
“We’re going to get another crack at Ketchikan,” Potter said. “They’re good. No if’s, ands, or buts. But our first order of business is Thunder Mountain.”
JDHS and TMHS will play each other again this Wednesday.
The school took a moment between games to recognize the seniors of the teams, with family and friends garnishing them in decorations as seniors briefly thanked teachers and families before a packed gym.
The boys team kicked off after the seniors dispersed, a tight game that could have locked up the No. 1 seed in the Region V Tournament for JDHS- if they had won.
“We played hard. We didn’t shoot real well,” coach Robert Casperson said. “We really wanted to focus on getting in the paint more often, and we did that Saturday.”
Thunder Mountain scored first and early, leading JDHS 14-9 at the end of the first quarter. Opening the second quarter with a 3-pointer from Lockhart, TMHS kept pushing the tempo, ending the first half at 25-17.
JDHS returned some of its fire in the third quarter, with both teams scoring 15 points in a fiercely contested game, ending the third quarter with TMHS still leading by only 8 points at 40-32. But TMHS pulled away in the fourth quarter, as the game ended 55-44 TMHS.
Orion Dybdahl scored a quarter of JDHS’ total points with 11. TMHS sophomores Baxter and Lockhart scored 40 points between them, with Baxter putting up 24 to Lockhart’s 16.
“Thomas Baxter shot the lights out,” Casperson said. “They’re very talented scorers and we’re going to have figure out a different way to play them.”
TMHS boys will play Kayhi on Wednesday; the winner will go on to face JDHS. Spirits are high, Casperson said.
“That’s one thing I’ve been really proud of with this group. They have not wavered. They are showing grit and determination,” Casperson said. “They know everything we want for our season is still out in front of us we can still achieve it.”
• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.