The Thunder Mountain High School boy’s basketball team sailed into the Region V tournament title game on the wings of 6-foot-2 junior Matt Seymour’s game high 19 points as they put a semifinal crushing on the Ketchikan Kings 55-33 in Mt. Edgecumbe’s B. J. McGillis Memorial Gymnasium on Wednesday.
“Matt stepped up big for us tonight,” TMHS coach John Blasco said. “He really got us going early when we were stagnant.”
Seymour tallied 13 points in the first half and hit four triples for the game, including two in a 9-5 Falcons first quarter advantage.
Seymour and Ty Grussendorf each hit another long ball in the second period as the Falcons outscored the Kings 13-8 in the period.
The Falcons started the second half up 22-13 and went on an 11-2 run, thanks to a deep triple by Seymour and two follow-ups by senior Ben Jahn.
Sophomore Jacob Calloway toed the triple line and was awarded two points that gave the Falcons a 37-19 advantage with a minute left in the third.
The Kings found little from outside and met Sam Jahn inside if they tried to drive to the glass and trailed by 18 points, 38-20 heading into the final quarter of play.
Ketchikan was awarded the double-bonus at the free throw line with 5:15 remaining in the game as S. Jahn picked up his third foul. Two free throws by Mo Bullock briefly cut into the 42-26 Falcons lead but charity stripe woes continued for the Kings down the stretch.
Vili Tupou tallied all six of his game points and S. Jahn four free throws to break the Kings momentum in the period.
“The Tupou’s played very well for us,” Blasco said. “They found their opportunities when they were available.”
Grussendorf hit another deep three to spark another Falcons run and the lead bloomed up to 20 with a minute remaining.
Mike Uddipa notched one-of-two free throws with just two ticks remaining to end the onslaught 55-33.
“We are happy to get the win,” Blasco said. “Even though it was not the prettiest. We had to adapt in multiple ways due to Ketchikan coach Stockhausen giving us several new looks.”
Seymour led the Falcons with 19 points, S. Jahn added 10, B. Jahn seven, Grussendorf and V. Tupou six each, Josh Tupou, Avery Stewart and Calloway two apiece, and M. Uddipa one. TMHS hit 13-27 at the charity stripe, Kayhi went 7-17. Isaiah Navales and Alex Pihl led the Kings with six points apiece, Brien Auger added five, Erwin Malabanan four, Kable Lervick and Mo Bullock three each, Riley Gass, Malik Almenzor, and Colton Paulsen two each.
The Kings (1-1) will play JDHS (0-1) at 9:45 a.m. today in a loser-out game. Ketchikan defeated JDHS in the tourney opener 51-47 on Tuesday. Today’s winner will advance to play Thunder Mountain (1-0) in the 4A Boy’s Championship game at 4:45 p.m. Friday.
Friday’s game will be the first Region V championship basketball game for the young Falcons’ program. Seniors Vili and Josh Tupou, Sam Jahn, Ty Grussendorf, Travis Johnson, Avery Stewart, Joseph Ia and Rohan Kishore, under the guidance of coaches Blasco, Rob Ridgeway and Ruther Echiverri, are responsible for the programs climb to respectability.