A last second jump shot by Thunder Mountain’s Villi Tupou hit the rim and rolled away against the Kings in Ketchikan on Friday night, and the Falcons fell by the smallest of margins in a tightly contested game, 54-53.
“It was really a great game,” TMHS coach John Blasco said. “It was a lot of fun, back and forth the whole night.”
Tupou led the Falcons with 11 points, had five steals, four rebounds and played solid defense. Keith Ainsworth also scored 11 points, Matt Seymour added 10, Sam Jahn eight, Travis Johnson six, Ty Grussendorf three, Ben Jahn and Josh Tupou two apiece.
Ketchikan’s Kyle Day scored 20 points, Travis Taylor added 15, Kable Lervick and Mark Dulay six apiece, Brien Auger five, and Colton Paulsen two.
JDHS hit 5-9 at the free throw line, Kayhi went 13-22.
The largest lead of the game was seven points in the second quarter when the Kings went on an 8-0 run and were ahead 28-21. The Falcons battled back to trail by three at the half 31-28.
“It was just back and forth the whole second half,” Blasco said.
The Falcons tied the game at 41 all starting the final period.
Villi Tupou had the hothand all game and notchedtwo of his three triples in the fourth quarter to give the Falcons their chance at winning the game.
Thunder Mountain led 53-49 with 45 seconds left when Brien Auger hit a three to pull the Kings within one point.
The Falcons lost the ball and the Kings had two tip-in attempts before Mark Dulay touched in the go-ahead score. The Falcons called timeout to set up a play and Ketchikan followed suit to set up a defense.
“We got a really good look from the corner and we just missed it,” Blasco said. “The kids fought hard. It was a really good game.”
Blasco commented that Kayhi does a really good job of running plays without taking time to get sets. As of Friday night, Thunder Mountain has now lost by six points, lost by five, won by six, and lost by one to the Kings. With the region tournament at Ketchikan the Falcons know they can become champions if they put two good games together.
“We are there,” Blasco said. “We are competing with them. Kayhi is solid. They have some tough seniors. They never quit and we never quit. It is a lot of fun to play these guys.”
The Falcons lost 52-47 on Saturday as Kayhi jumped out to an early 16-9 lead and pushed into halftime up 27- 19. Kayhi scored the first four point and never trailed in the game. TMHS surged in the third period to get within six points, 37-31 starting the final stanza.
In the final minute and a half in the game, TMHS cut the lead to three points. Ben Jahn scored inside to make the score 48-45 with 1:17 remaining.
Ketchikan’s Kyle Day hit two free throws with 55 seconds left to make it 50-45.
Jahn then grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 28.4 seconds remaining, cutting the lead to 50-47.
Day missed the front of a one-and-one and Villi Tupou had a good look at a three-pointer but the shot just rimmed out with 10 seconds left. Taylor rebound for Kayhi and pushed the ball to Day who scored the final bucket.
The two Ketchikan stars finished the game with four fouls each.
Ben Jahn scored 20 points for the Falcons, Ainsworth 10, Seymour five and Tupou five. The Falcons had 16 team fouls and were 10-13 at the line, Kayhi had 15 fouls and went 6-11 at the line.
Day scored 21 for Ketchikan, Taylor 21 with 10 rebounds.
Ketchikan’s record is 10- 12 overall, 3-5 in conference. TMHS is 6-15, 1-5.
The Thunder Mountain boys and girls play at JDHS on Friday and host the Crimson Bears on Saturday. Each home team will be celebrating senior player appreciation night.