Falcons split with Kings

Thunder Mountain's Natalie Montez, 2, sets the ball for teammate Makayla Pierce, 4, in game one with the Kayhi girls in Ketchikan Friday night at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium. The Falcons won game one 25-19 over the Kings. Staff photo by Hall Anderson

After a tough five-set loss on Thursday, Thunder Mountain regrouped and swept Ketchikan in three close sets on Friday, earning a 25-19, 27-25, 26-24 victory over the Lady Kings.

“Thunder Mountain played with a lot more consistency,” Ketchikan coach Naomi Michalsen said. “The games were close, but we never got our offense, or defense, going as well as did last night.”

According to live over-the-phone play-by-play by activities director Rhonda Bolling, Ketchikan led the third set 24-23 and was serving to force the match into a fourth set. A carry was called on the Kings, however, giving the Falcons a side out and tying the score.

Solid defense by Thunder Mountain — the Falcons dug up hits by Jayley Taylor and Grace Chandler — led to kills by Kendra Wittwer and Jenna Luhrs as the Falcons held on to close out the match with the 26-24 win.

“Thunder Mountain played good defense,” Michalsen said. “We were just a bit slower. We were a different team tonight, but we’ll see Thunder Mountain again next week.”

Most of the Southeast teams and a handful of Anchorage schools are competing in the Juneau Jive on Friday and Saturday in Juneau.

Against the Falcons, Taylor led Ketchikan’s offense with eight blocks and nine kills. Bayley Lindgren added six blocks and four kills; Faith Clark hammered six kills; and Chandler Grace picked up four blocks.

Clark and Shery Bongot each had 11 digs. Clark served for four aces and didn’t miss a serve on the night. Bongot and Felicia Ruaro each served three aces.

It was senior night for Ketchikan. After taking over the gym via flash mob, the Lady Kings celebrated by dancing to the hustle, led by senior Shermeli Malabanan. Thunder Mountain joined in the dancing and a couple of Ketchikan girls did the worm before the players revealed tie-dyed shirts that said “Thanks Naomi” on the back.

Seniors Chandler Grace, Mary Keele, Malabanan, Bri McLaughlin, Miranda Morris and Courtney Paul were recognized before the match.

“The senior night festivities were great, probably the best I’ve ever been a part of as a coach at the high school,” Michalsen said. “They came out and surprised us. Even Thunder Mountain was dancing on the court. It was fun. It was an awesome weekend.”

The Ketchikan C team beat Thunder Mountain 25-22, 20-25, 25-14, 25-14. In the C team contest, Ketchikan began by playing at all-freshman squad for the first two games before the normal JV white squad played the final two games. Amanda Lane, Kacie Morris and Zoe Smith led Ketchikan in the C team match.

JV white played the first game of the junior varsity match, then JV maroon played the last three games of the match, which was won by Thunder Mountain 24-26, 25-17, 26-24, 25-8.

“Most of those kids are all freshmen,” junior varsity coach Mary Hagemann said. “We have a lot of great competition in our freshman and sophomore classes.”


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