The first Southeast home conference win for the Thunder Mountain Falcons girl’s basketball team was a 42-33 win over archrival Ketchikan on Friday.
On Saturday, a much more disciplined Lady Kings team gave the Falcons another mid-season test: they could revert to old ways and fold down the stretch, or they could play another four strong quarters.
The Falcons chose to play, and although they found themselves just three-points behind at the game’s end, 42-39, TMHS looks to be a serious contender from here on out.
The Falcons had a chance to fold in the first quarter after their 5-4 lead evaporated under the Lady Kings press and resulted in a 12-7 Kayhi advantage starting the second period.
The Falcons had a chance to whither when Ketchikan opened a 19-8 margin and, after closing to six points, saw another Lady Kings run give the visitors a 24-12 halftime lead.
Instead, the Falcons put together a run to start the third quarter and closed within six again at 32-26 to start the final stanza.
Two three-pointers by senior guard Eyerus Tingley and free throws by senior Jonelle Staveland, junior Micheala Demmert, and sophomore Ashley Young and the Falcons had played their second full four-quarter game of intensity.
Tingley’s two deep shots and two Staveland free throws gave the Falcons a 37-36 lead, their first lead since Shayla Reeves hit a follow up to start the game.
Staveland then added a post move for a 39-36 advantage.
The Falcons couldn’t hold the slim margin and it became a loss, but in many respects it was a victory.
“There were some times that if we didn’t keep our heads up and keep going we could have dug ourselves a bigger hole,” TMHS coach Tanya Nizich said. “The girls just picked up their intensity gradually as the game went on and finished strong.”
Staveland led the Falcons with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal. Young added nine points (6 rebounds), Tingley six points, Cheyenne Ekis five, Ava Tompkins three, Sarah Morris and Shayla Reeves two, and Demmert one.
Key was the Falcons composure at the charity stripe where they hit 17-28. Ketchikan went 11-21. Bayley Lindgren led the Lady Kings with 16 points, Jayley Taylor added eight, Mikayla Brown-Harrison six, Eliah Anderson five, Charley Edwardson four, Lizzie Carson two, and Brooke Simmons one.
The Falcons had just 12 turnovers.
“That is low for us, however we had some turnovers with about a minute to go,” Nizich said. “That hurt us. But in a situation like that we would like to fix things in the first three quarters and not have it come down to a last second shot. We will learn from it and move on.”