Thunder Mountain’s Eyerus Tingley and Jonelle Staveland lit up the first period scoreboard as the Falcons girls cagers found themselves in a long-range shootout with the state’s third ranked 2A Klawock Chieftains in a 53-49 losing effort at the Thunderdome on Wednesday night.
The Falcons went on a 14-3 run in the first period with Tingley hitting two from beyond the arch and Staveland one from deeper outside.
“This was exactly what I have been waiting for from our team,” TMHS coach Tanya Nizich said. “They were really getting after it and having fun at the same time. Overall I think it was an extremely good game by both teams. Both teams battled back and forth all night.”
The Chieftains attacked the basket in the second period as Tonya Busse scored 9 of her 17 points in the period and Klawock outscored the Falcons 15-5 and cut the lead to one at the half 19-18.
Klawock went on a 10-2 run to open the second half and take their first lead of the game. The Chieftains Cassi Williams would be a force from the outside, hitting 12 of her game-high 28 points in the stanza. Staveland hit another deep three and Shayla Reeves, Ashley Young and Noe Maka kept pace inside as the Falcons trailed by just three starting the final period 35-32.
Klawock’s Williams would prove to be too much down the stretch as she knocked down two long-range triples and five free throws and Tonya Busse handled the ball to kill the Falcons pressuring defense.
Thunder Mountain’s Young banged inside for seven of her 13 game points in the period. Staveland drained a deep three with 28 seconds remaining to pull the Falcons to within three points at 52-49 but Williams sank a free-throw to make it a two possession ball game with nine seconds remaining and Thunder Mountain couldn’t get a final score.
Staveland led the Falcons with 14 points, Young had 13, Revees seven, Tingley and Maka six apiece, Sarah Morris two and Michaela Demmert one.
Williams scored 28 for Klawock, Busse added 17, Nani Larson six, Jill Carl and Sara Carle one apiece.
The Falcons hit 6-13 from the charity stripe, Klawock went 18-34.
“It was nice to get the extra play from our bench,” Nizich said. “Cheyenne (Ekis), Sarah (Morris) and Noe (Maka) really stepped up to the varsity level tonight.”
The Thunder Mountain girls next host Ketchikan this weekend. The games are part of the Falcons’ Breast Cancer Awareness support. The Falcons’ boys travel to the Kayhi Kings home. The Juneau-Douglas girls play at Lathrop tonight, at West Valley Friday and at North Pole on Saturday.
The Juneau-Douglas boys host Mt. Edgecumbe tonight. The Braves beat the Crimson Bears in last year’s Region V crossover championship game and look to be in contention for another Southeast crown this season.