Thunder Mountain sophomore Matt Seymour scored seven points in the final two minutes of Friday’s 40-32 Thunderdome Shootout loss to the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves.
“Even if I have had some bad shots or the offense wasn’t going well for me, you have to take big shots at the end of the game,” Seymour said. “It is important to get the offense going but you can’t be afraid of big shots. I think we underestimated them a little bit, we let them get on a run and we performed well late, but it just wasn’t enough. It was too big of a lead.”
No shot was bigger than Seymour’s deep trey with 32 seconds remaining that brought the Falcons to within three points, 35-32.
Pressing on defense the Falcons sent Mt. Edgecumbe to the charity stripe where they hit 5-6 in the final 19 seconds. Seymour scored all his team high 11 points in the second half.
“I felt like defensively we played the game for 32 minutes,” TMHS head coach John Blasco said. “Offensively we couldn’t get anything going for 28 minutes. We didn’t get anything until the last four minutes.”
Mt. Edgecumbe scored the first four points of the game and never relinquished the lead, hitting a shot at the buzzer for an 11-4 first quarter advantage.
Both teams struggled to find any love in the bottom of their respective nets in the second period. The Falcons Ben Jahn put in a missed shot and Travis Johnson notched one free throw in the stanza while the Braves’ Jaylin Prince hit a free throw and a short jumper as both team’s shot charts tallied over a dozen miscues.
“They put good defensive pressure on us,” Blasco said. “And we never attacked strong and confidently. In games like that you have to attack the rim and get to the free throw line, otherwise you are never going to get into the flow of the game. I give them credit for their defense, they were always up on our guys, always pressuring and we played on our heels. You can’t play offense that way. You have to be the aggressive ones, and they were from the tip.”
Ben Jahn was called for his fourth foul just a minute into the third period and the Falcons trailing 14-7. Thunder Mountain stepped up with their leading rebounder on the bench. Johnson, Vili Tupou and Seymour countered the Braves scoring duo of Dominique Hall and Kacy Green to stay within striking distance at 24-15.
The Braves went on a 10-4 run to begin the fourth period before Tupou dropped a deep trey. Trailing 35-21, Jahn reappeared to hit two free throws and Seymour began his binge with a jumper at the two-minute mark. Josh Tupou hit three charity stripers; Jahn hit another then stole the ball and fed Seymour for a lay in.
A missed Braves free throw gave the Falcons their last three pointer by Seymour.
“It was a low scoring game,” Blasco said. “Which means our defense was still good, but we just couldn’t get an offense going.”
Jahn tallied eight points for the Falcons, Johnson seven, V. Tupou five and J. Tupou three. The Braves were led by Hall’s 17 points, Green added eight, Leo Ford and Bryan Nick five apiece, Cody Sherman four, and Calvin Frankson one.
The smaller Braves battled on the boards and were rewarded with 28 trips to the free throw line, where they made 15. The Falcons hit eight of 16.
The Falcons are without the services of Keith Ainsworth for six weeks due to a spine injury that occurred during a dunk recently.
Also on Friday:
Palmer boys 68, West Valley 45
Palmer’s Connor Looney hit 10 of his game high 26 points in the first quarter and teammate Brian Selmer added eight of his 16 in the stanza as the Moose sprinted out to a 24-10 first quarter lead. After a 13-11 second period, the Moose again exploded for 15 in the third period while holding the Wolfpack to just six points.
Jackson Baresh added 12 for Palmer, James Nisbett, Jared Straight, and Hayden Niekamp four each, and Thomas Matik two.
Larenzo Graham led West Valley with 18 points, Jerrico Turner nine, Kade Campbell eight, Jacob Carson seven, Ben Vandemeer two and Trevor Baker-Reynolds one.
The Moose went 11-16 at the line, the Wolfpack were 14-16.
Up next for TMHS is a visit from Chugiak on Jan. 19. and Mt. Edgecumbe on the road Jan. 20-21.