The Christmas holiday break didn’t hamper the play of the Thunder Mountain High School boy’s basketball team in the Anchorage Christian Schools invitational tournament on Thursday.
Behind 22 points from 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Matt Seymour, the Falcons beat one of the premier 3A powers from the Western Conference, the Nome Nanooks, 44-41. Nome was state tournament runner-up in 2009 and 2010.
“It was definitely a good game by Matt,” TMHS head coach John Blasco said. “But every one was hustling on the court. Travis contributed his normal all around hustle. It was a good game to play after being off for two weeks.”
After Seymour, Ben Jahn scored six points, Ty Grussendorf five, Sam Jahn and Travis Johnson four apiece, Josh Tupou two, and Coltin Lanz one. Nathan Blandford led the Nanooks with 17 points.
The Falcons never trailed at a break, leading 15-10 after one quarter, 25-18 at the half, and 34-26 entering the final stanza.
“We came out pretty aggressive at the start,” Blasco said. “But we definitely had a little bit of rust on us. You have to get back into the swing of playing against a physical team. The pressure got to us at the end of the third quarter and we lost an 11 point lead in the fourth to make it a close game.”
Thunder Mountain hit 3-8 from the charity stripe and Nome notched 3-10.
“There were not a lot of fouls called,” Blasco said. “It was a physical game but they let us play. We wanted to be in a tournament against teams that we normally wouldn’t see or play against. It gives us a different view.”
The Falcons will play state placer Barrow tonight at 5:30. The game will be broadcast live on Juneau’s KINY 800 AM radio.
The Whalers beat the Bethel Warriors, both Western Conference teams, on Thursday in overtime.
Other teams in the tournament include the three-time defending 2A state champion Point Hope Harpooners of the Great Northwest Conference, the Aurora Conference’s Valdez Buccaneers, the 4A Skyview Panthers from the Northern Lights Conference, and last year’s state 3A champion ACS Lions from the Southcentral Conference.
If the Falcons win tonight they play in the championship game at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, if they lose they are in the consolation game at 10:30 a.m. That Falcons game will also be broadcast by KINY.
The Falcons will play in the Kodiak holiday tournament next week with Cordova, Ketchikan and Kodiak. Blasco stated that would be a tough tournament as well.