The Thunder Mountain High School Falcons girl’s basketball team opened their Thunder Dome Tournament with a convincing 72-26 win over the Kotzebue Huskies.
Using a full court man-to-man defense the Falcons wore down the undersized Huskies and opened a 15-11 first quarter lead as Michaela Demmert hit for six points, Ashley Young and Sarah Morris four and Ava Tompkins had two steals and three rebounds.
“We had a two minute stretch in that first quarter where things were just clicking right,” Thunder Mountain coach Tanya Nizich said. “We just stopped their momentum and our main goal was just working hard.”
The Falcons kept with what was working in the second period, going on an eight-to-two run as Siosi Tupo and Young found the net. Cheyenne Ekis dropped a three to put the Falcons up by 12 points and they finished out the half with another eight-to-two run for a 35-17 advantage.
“We were just working hard,” Nizich said. “It was just everyone working hard. It is fun to watch everyone having fun when they are doing good things.”
The Falcons erupted for 35 points in the third quarter to break the game open. Ava Tompkins scored all nine of her game points in the period and Jonelle Staveland all of her eight points and Eyerus Tingley her lone long bomb.
“We had a team goal to make 60 points,” Tingley said. “Usually our third quarter is bad. We kept it together so that was cool.”
Young led the Falcons with 12 points, Demmert and Tupo 11 each, Morris eight, Ekis five, and Reeves two.
Mary Su Hyatt and Colleen Snyder led the Huskies with 10 points each, Magdeline Booth added four and Stephanie Sampson one.
“It was nice to see everybody contributing,” Nizich said. “It was nice to see that every one can put up numbers.”
The Falcons play Mt. Edgecumbe at 7 p.m. tonight, the Huskies play North Pole at 5:15 p.m.
For three and a half quarters the opening game of the 2013 Thunder Dome girl’s basketball tournament was a tight fought battle. Unfortunately for the Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves the last four minutes swung in the direction of Fairbanks’ North Pole Patriots.
“They are a tough team,” Mt. Edgecumbe coach Carl Blackhurst said. “I thought we played well for three quarters, and a bit into the fourth.”
North Pole senior Josie Broderick was a tough defensive assignment for the Lady Braves.
Broderick scored a game-high 22 points, including seven in the first and fourth periods, and pulled down eight rebounds.
In one sequence Broderick stole a pass, fed a teammate under the hoop, followed that teammates missed shot to score, and then ran the floor to block a shot.
“Every game our team goes out and tries to play hard,” Broderick said. “We just knew that we had to go out that way tonight to win. We have a really good team this year, we all get along and we are playing hard.”
North Pole led 11-8 after one period, despite the shooting efforts of the Lady Braves’ Mariah Martin who tallied four of her team-high nine points and blocked two shots.
Mt. Edgecumbe pulled to within one point on a Taryn White put back with 18 seconds remaining before the half but Broderick scored at the buzzer for a 19-16 advantage.
Broderick opened the third stanza with a blocked shot and a rebound that led to a basket by Ragan Smothers. Mt. Edgecumbe closed the third period on a six to zero run to close with one point again at 27-26.
The Lady Braves didn’t score until the 3:49 mark of the final period and North Pole answered with a 10-4 run to end the game.
Smothers added 16 for North Pole, Lindsey Daml four and Erica Croxen two.
White and Danielle Fields added eight points each for the Lady Braves and Scarlett Beaver five.
North Pole hit 7-16 at the charity stripe, Mt. Edgecumbe went 8-20.
North Pole plays Kotzebue at 5:15 p.m. today and Mt. Edgecumbe plays TMHS at 7 p.m.