The Thunder Mountain High School boy’s basketball team was in a dogfight without one of their leading canines against the Mid-Alaska Conference powerhouse Lathrop Malemutes on Thursday night, and the visiting Lathrop squad took advantage of junior Matt Seymour’s absence to run away with a 71-46 win.
“They are very athletic,” TMHS coach John Blasco said of Lathrop. “They played a good game. They played the game that we knew they would play and that was fast transition.”
The Falcons took early leads of 6-2 and 8-4 on bruising shots inside. Sophomore Jacob Calloway had his shot blocked, grabbed the possession and scored off the glass and Vili Tupou spun around the defense for a floater to high light the leads.
East closed the first period with a 7-0 run to take an 11-8 lead.
The Falcons tied the score as senior Ty Grussendorf hit a three from the side just ten seconds into the second quarter and took their last lead with junior Ben Jahn’s free throw. East went on an 11-0 run and never allowed the Falcons to get closer than six, heading into halftime with a 30-22 advantage.
“We never got into our game,” Blasco said. “We could not stop them defensively and could not get into a rhythm offensively. Not having Matt did not help things and having a lot of guys in foul trouble did not help. It just all around wasn’t a very good game.”
V. Tupou was hit with his third foul in the second period and B. Jahn his second. S. Jahn was whistled for his second in the first quarter.
Lathrop went up by 13 points at the 5:15 mark of the third period and the Falcons cut it back to within 10 points, but the lead was back to 44-31 ending the quarter.
The Malemutes went on a 10-0 run using a press to open the final stanza and outscored the Falcons 27-15 in the period for the win.
Grussendorf and S. Jahn led the Falcons with nine points apiece, B. Jahn and V. Tupou added seven each, Calloway five, J. Tupou and Mike Uddipa three each, Trent Uddipa two, and Joe Ia one. The Falcons hit 9-16 at the free throw line, the Malemutes went 12-20. Everett Green led Lathrop with 17 points, Gabriel Cunningham added 14, Tremon Washington 12, Cole Berner nine, Kyle Carlson eight, Tevin Gladden six, and Alex Jordan five.
“This is a game you learn to wipe away and wake up tomorrow and play a different game,” Blasco said. “That is a game we cannot repeat. Tomorrow is a new day and we need to get ready for Ketchikan.”
The Falcons travel to Kayhi for games today and on Saturday. The Malemutes play at JDHS at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday.