The Thunder Mountain High School Falcons girl’s basketball team ran into a top 3A Mt. Edgecumbe team in the Thunder Dome Tournament on Friday, falling 46-37 in a game they had multiple opportunities to win, and then won a scrappy game against Fairbanks’ North Pole Patriots 59-51 on Saturday.
“We did not have the speed and quickness like we did the night before against Kotzebue,” TMHS coach Tanya Nizich said of the Mt. Edgecumbe game. “Showing up with intensity every night and every game from here on out is key for us.”
The Falcons defeated Kotzebue 72-26 in their tourney opener.
Against Mt. Edgecumbe neither team had much luck from the field. The Lady Braves led 8-6 starting the second quarter.
Senior Jonelle Staveland hit a long three and sophomore Ashely Young two buckets inside but Mt. Edgecumbe broke the Falcons press for a 12-9 halftime advantage, six of those points coming form the free throw line as TMHS fouled on recoveries.
The Falcons closed to within three points in the third period before Mariah Martin led a Lady Braves assault that pushed Mt. Edgecumbe to a 33-23 margin starting the final period.
Young led the Falcons with 11 points, Staveland nine, freshman Ava Tompkins and sophomore Cheyenne Ekis four apiece, junior Michaela Demmert three, sophomore Sarah Morris, seniors Shayla Reeves and Eyerus Tingley two each.
TMHS hit 5-8 at the free throw line, Mt. Edgecumbe 13-25.
Martin led the Lady Braves with 13 points, Renatta Olson and Danielle Fields nine apiece, Taryn White six, Scarlett Beaver five and Payton Weisz four.
“We have players that can contain opponents on defense and we have players that are fully capable of scoring in double digits every night,” Nizich said. “It is about putting it all together as a team and getting the job done.”
On Saturday the Falcons put quite a lot together as five different players found the net for a 14-13 first quarter advantage.
“We did it tonight as a team,” Nizich said. “Our scoring was spread out and we communicated on defense.”
Keyed by all-tournament selections Young and Tompkins and senior Staveland the Falcons attacked the rim in the second period to open a 34-28 halftime lead.
“Best of all our intensity was just sky high,” Nizich said.
Tournament most valuable player Josie Broderick hit 16 of her game high 27 points in the first half to keep the North Pole in the game.
The Patriots’ Raegan Smothers hit five of her 11 game points in the third period and Broderick added five as they closed to within three, 45-42, starting the final quarter.
The Falcons went 9-12 from the free throw line in the final period, including Staveland’s five of six, and 16-29 in the game. North Pole hit 15-30 at the line.
Young led the Falcons with 13 points, Staveland added 10, Demmert and Morris eight, Tompkins and Ekis seven, Tingley four, and Tupo two.
Erica Croxen added six for the Patriots, Ashlynn Mulcare five and Lindsey Daml two.
Also selected to the all-tourney team were North Pole’s Broderick and Smothers, Mt. Edgecumbe’s Taryn White and Mariah Martin, and Kotzebue’s Collen Snyder and Mary Sue Hyatt.
Box scores were not available for other tournament games.