Samuel Lockhart (#14) of Thunder Mountain High School tries to get past Sean Oliver of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during Wednesday night’s game at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Samuel Lockhart (#14) of Thunder Mountain High School tries to get past Sean Oliver of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during Wednesday night’s game at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

TMHS, JDHS boys’ basketball teams get dominant victories on each other’s courts

Crimson Bears win 64-45 on Tuesday, Falcons rebound to prevail 56-35 on Wednesday.

When two teams play each other on two consecutive nights in games decided by about 20 points, the assumption might be one team is clearly better. But Juneau’s two high school boys’ basketball teams provided both are capable of being superb or subpar on a given night, as each won a game convincingly on the other team’s home court.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé traveled to Thunder Mountain High School on Tuesday, emerging with a 64-45 victory. The Falcons struck back on Wednesday, prevailing 56-35 on the Crimson Bears’ home court.

The coaches for both teams said the split reflects the balance of the 4A Region V conference, which also includes Ketchikan High School, with all three teams now having a .500 conference record for the season (Ketchikan and JDHS are 3-3, while TMHS is 2-2).

“On the guys’ side of the conference right now every series has been split,” said JDHS Head Coach Robert Casperson. Such balance has occurred in the past when “we have gone into regionals (post-season) where we’re all 4-4 and it goes to a tiebreaker. So I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again.”

Both local teams simply played better on different nights in this week’s matchups, said TMHS Head Coach John Blasco.

“We didn’t do what we needed to defensively yesterday and they took advantage of us in all different ways,” he said. “And so I think we just had more of a focus on our defensive game tonight.”

Alwen Carrillo of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé attempts a breakaway layup during Wednesday night’s game against Thunder Mountain High School at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Alwen Carrillo of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé attempts a breakaway layup during Wednesday night’s game against Thunder Mountain High School at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Wins by each team were also sparked by big offensive performances from their key players. JDHS guard Alwen Carrillo led all scorers on Tuesday with 30 points, with teammates Sean Oliver contributing 12 and Jhowel Estigoy 11.

“I want to shout out to my team for that — they were setting me up for great opportunities and easy buckets,” Carrillo said after both games were completed.

Carrillo said the difference in his team’s performance during the two games came down to fundamentals.

“Last night we were just communicating very well and working good as a team, and our rotations on defense were on point and sharp,” he said. “And it’s the things that we practice every day in practice. And tonight they just weren’t there.”

JDHS got off to a slow start on Tuesday, trailing TMHS 15-8 after the first quarter. But the Crimson Bears rallied with a 22-point second quarter to take a 30-25 halftime lead, then continued to expand its lead in the second half.

James Palasky led the Falcons with 14 points on Tuesday, with Thomas Baxter scoring 13.

Kasen Ludeman is fouled while taking a shot for Thunder Mountain High School against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Wednesday at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Kasen Ludeman is fouled while taking a shot for Thunder Mountain High School against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Wednesday at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The tables were turned upside down on Wednesday as JDHS took a 13-8 first-quarter lead against TMHS. But Falcons then had their own 22-point second quarter response, taking a 30-19 lead into halftime. The Crimson Bears kept the game within reach during third quarter, trailing 41-33 at the end, but they scored just two points in the fourth quarter as the Falcons turned the outcome into a rout.

“We just adjusted just some defensive matchups and some defensive positioning that we thought would give us a better advantage,” Blasco said. However, looking ahead he said turnovers in the fourth quarter became a concern to work on looking ahead to future games.

Baxter led all scorers on Wednesday with 20 points, while Palasky had 14 and Samuel Lockhart 13 for the Falcons. Leading the Crimson Bears were Carrillo with 16 points and Oliver with 11.

TMHS (14-7 overall) is next scheduled to play at home against Ketchikan (11-10 overall) on Friday and Saturday. JDHS (13-10 overall) is next scheduled to play home-and-away rematches against TMHS the following week on Feb. 23 and 24.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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