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Falcons face weekend hoops action against Ketchikan

TMHS boys host Kings Friday & Saturday, girls travel to Kayhi

Posted: January 3, 2013 - 12:10am
Vili Tupou (24) starts a fast break past Sitka's Kendrick Payton (33) and Brian Way, as Falcons' teammate Ben Jahn runs along side in TMHS' season opening series in December. The Falcons' boys host the Ketchikan Kings on Friday and Saturday. The Falcons' girls travel to Ketchikan.
Vili Tupou (24) starts a fast break past Sitka's Kendrick Payton (33) and Brian Way, as Falcons' teammate Ben Jahn runs along side in TMHS' season opening series in December. The Falcons' boys host the Ketchikan Kings on Friday and Saturday. The Falcons' girls travel to Ketchikan.

The Thunder Mountain High School Falcons basketball teams will be going up against Southeastern Conference rival Ketchikan this weekend.

The Falcons’ boys (4-2) will host the Kings (4-5) while the Falcons’ girls (0-2) travel to face the Ketchikan Lady Kings (2-3).

It has been three weeks since the TMHS varsity teams have been in game competition.

“We are looking forward to this weekend,” TMHS coach John Blasco said. “Three weeks is too long to just be sitting around and practicing. Hopefully we will pick up where we left off.”

The Falcons boy’s last game was in the Service Tip Off Classic at Anchorage, and TMHS won the consolation bracket 63-47 over the Kayhi Kings.

“They have faced some tough competition,” Blasco said. “They are a fast paced team with all guards looking to run up and down the floor.”

In that final game TMHS senior Matt Seymour ran past the Kings, scoring 23 points and the trio of Sam Jahn, Ben Jahn and Vili Tupou added nine points each.

Ketchikan relies on seniors Brien Auger, Kable Lervick and Erwin Malabanan, all varsity athletes since their sophomore seasons, and junior Malik Almenzor.

The Kings recently went 1-2 in their Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic at Kayhi, including a 58-31 win over Petersburg, a 65-53 loss to the state’s third-ranked 4A team Palmer and a 75-57 loss to Philomath (Ore.).

Auger was selected all-tourney in the CCCC and leads the team in scoring with a 10.9 average, according to the Ketchikan Daily News.

Game times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (JV 6:15, C 4:30).

The Kayhi girls are getting freshmen production from Ellah Anderson and Alexis Biggerstaff but the Kings usually have a starting line up that features seniors Bayley Lindgren, Mikayla Brown-Harrison and Lizzie Carson and junior Jayley Taylor. Senior wing Cassidy Patton suffered a knee injury in the final game of the CCCC and she was to be evaluated this week.

The Lady Kings opened the CCCC with a 54-35 win over 3A Petersburg, lost to Gig Harbor (Wash.) 43-33, and beat 1A Klawock 45-37. The Lady Kings won all four regular season games over TMHS last season.

“We know they are a hard working and scrappy team,” TMHS coach Tanya Nizich said. “And if we don’t show up ready to play and ready to work as hard as we can we know what Ketchikan is capable of doing to us. They have a strong program with a lot of returners and we need to be ready for that.”

The Falcons’ girls have also been spending a lot of practice time with no games.

“We seem to be healthy,” Nizich said. “But no games is hard on the kids and the coaches. You have to keep your practices switched up to keep interest.”

The Falcons’ girls will be hosting the Thunder Dome Tournament the following weekend with Mt. Edgecumbe, Kotzebue and North Pole attending.

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