Ketchikan capped a successful weekend as snow blanketed Juneau Saturday with a 50-40 win over homestanding Thunder Mountain in Southeast Conference boys’ basketball.
The Kings led 12-5 after one quarter but the Falcons closed the gap to trail 18-14 at the break.
“It was definitely a slower-paced game (than Friday),” TMHS coach John Blasco said. “It was a tougher defensive game than what we’ve been playing, which I was glad to see. (Jesse) Lindgren did score 23 for them, but we kept the rest of them under double digits. Our focus was to keep them down and we were able to do that.”
Ketchikan inched away to lead 26-21 after three quarters.
Senior Matt Seymour scored 12 points and sophomore Keith Ainsworth added nine in the losing effort to lead the Falcons.
“We had a lot of guys score so we were balanced, but it was a lot of low scoring from our guys,” Blasco said. “We tried to be more patient on offense and slowed the tempo as much as we could.”
Thunder Mountain fell to 4-18 and 0-6 in conference on the year. The Falcons host Juneau-Douglas on Friday at 8 p.m. for senior night .
Kings cruise Friday after hot start
Ketchikan got off to a quick start and Thunder Mountain couldn’t catch up Friday as the Kings cruised to a 54-36 Southeast Conference boys’ basketball win in Juneau.
Ketchikan improved to 3-2 in conference play with the return of senior Chas Allen, who suffered a badly sprained ankle last Friday during a game against Juneau-Douglas. Allen tied Thunder Mountain’s Keith Ainsworth and Matt Seymour for game-high scoring honors with 14 points.
“Chas was able to go and he looked a little bit better than we would have thought,” Ketchikan coach Erik Stockhausen said. “We were going to play him two minutes and he was going to come out, but he looked at me after he hit that first three(-pointer) and said, ‘I’m fine.’ That helps when Chas is loose and playing well. We’re obviously a much better squad.
“But coach (John) Blasco did a great job getting those kids to play hard and Ainsworth was fantastic. He made a great push all the way through the second half and a lot of credit goes to them for never letting us quite get comfortable.”
The game was nearly a stalemate in the second half with the Kings outscoring the Falcons 26-24, but the first half was all Ketchikan, 28-12 heading into the break.
“The way we came out in the second half, we were much more in rhythm offensively,” Blasco said. “We were looking for each other and doing what they did in the first half — catching shots in rhythm and nailing them, and 26-24 shows me that we can compete with these guys. We just have to show up in the first half.”
The Kings were able to get just about any shot they wanted in building a 28-12 lead at the half. Ketchikan made two 3-pointers in the first quarter and two more in the second, and scored four times off the dribble in the first, getting straight to the rim.
“They’re too good of shooters to let them catch the ball in rhythm along the perimeter,” Blasco said. “Once you start letting them shoot outside and then you close out too fast, then they expose you in the middle.”
The Kings quickly led 10-1 after opening with a Xavier Jones triple and a score off the bounce for Chas Allen. Allen then knocked down a 3-pointer and Jesse Lindgren drove the lane for a deuce. Another dribble-drive score for Lindgren made it 12-3, Kings, and then Jones went baseline for a bucket inside and Ketchikan led 14-5 after one quarter.
A 10-2 run pushed the Kings up 24-9, forcing a Thunder Mountain timeout after back-to-back 3-point bombs for Alex Williams and Allen. Keagan Lervick scored inside and Ketchikan took a 28-12 lead into the locker room.