The Thunder Mountain High School boy’s basketball team has taken control of the Southeast Conference with a 5-1 record (12-6 overall) after running over Ketchikan (2-4) 57-38 on Saturday at Kayhi. The Falcons won on Friday 69-64.
On Saturday the Falcons jumped out to 13-4 lead in the first quarter as Sam Jahn hit six of his game-high 17 points in the key to establish dominance on the glass.
Ty Grussendorf continued his deep threat shooting from the Friday’s win by hitting a three and Vili Tupou added another as TMHS opened a 25-13 halftime lead.
Jahn got six more points in the third period as the Falcons opened a 34-25 advantage starting the final stanza.
TMHS hit 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to offset the pressure of the Ketchikan press. Vili Tupou hit six in a row and Josh Tupou four and Grussendorf hit his second triple to carry the win.
“It was another great night by Sam,” TMHS coach John Blasco said. “And the Tupou brothers and Ty are really providing the solid guard play we need. I can’t say enough about the team’s performance this weekend.”
V. Tupou added 13 points, Ben Jahn eight, Grussendorf seven, J. Tupou six, Jacob Calloway four, and Travis Johnson two.
The Falcons hit 14-24 at the charity stripe, Ketchikan went 8-18.
Kable Lervick led the Kings with 13 points including shooting all 18 of Kayhi’s free throws, Erwin Malabanan eight, Alex Phil six, Brien Auger three, Isaiah Navales, Malik Almenzor, Colton Paulsen, and Melvin Gurthrie two each.
On Friday the Falcons used a solid team effort to beat Ketchikan 69-64 at the first city’s home.
S. Jahn scored 19 points to lead the Falcons and Grussendorf was nearly flawless from beyond the arch, hitting four-of-eight for 12 points.
“Ty had a nice game,” TMHS coach John Blasco said. “We were able to get inside which opened up the outside a bit and Ty was on. It was definitely good for us.”
S. Jahn’s three buckets to in the first quarter opened up space for Grussendorf, senior V. Tupou and sophomore J. Calloway to find scores.
Still playing without senior Matt Seymour the Falcons are finding a maturity level.
“That comes with the comfort and experience with each other,” Blasco said. “Unfortunately not having Matt does give us he opportunity to find a seventh or eighth guy to go too as Matt works his way back in. You have to have those guys on the bench with confidence who you can go too.”
Ketchikan (2-3) got 15 points apiece from Lervick and Almenzer, Auger added 12, Malabanan and Pihl 10 apiece, and Paulsen two.
TMHS was just 7-18 at the free throw line, Kayhi went 22-30 including 11-14 in the fourth quarter.
“That is something we definitely need to work on,” Blasco said. “We can not continue to put people on the free throw line that often.”
Ben Jahn added 11 points for the Falcons and V. Tupou nine.
Avery Stewart scored six of his eight game-points in a crucial run in the third period that allowed the Falcons to keep momentum and a 46-40 advantage starting the final stanza.
“Avery was a key contributor for us,” Blasco said. “It was nice to have kids step up.
Kayhi scored 24 points in the fourth quarter and TMHS 23.
“I think both teams decided to shoot and not play defense,” Blasco said. “Both teams shot very well and Ketchikan definitely attacked the basket.”
Calloway scored eight points in the game, and Josh Tupou two.
The Falcons begin a four-game road trip to Fairbanks starting Wednesday.