The Thunder Mountain High School boy’s basketball team won their second game in as many days at the Holland America Holiday Shootout in Sitka on Friday, topping Grace Christian 70-52 behind 18 points apiece from senior Matt Seymour and junior Jacob Calloway, and 10 points from senior Josh Palmer.
That trio scored all of the Falcons first quarter tallies in a 17-6 run over eight minutes.
“Matt not being in foul trouble always helps,” Thunder Mountain coach John Blasco said. “It always helps when we are able to get him going. He hit one early and Jacob hit one and they got that shooter’s confidence.”
Seymour and Calloway both hit from beyond the arch and Palmer added three buckets inside as point guard Trent Uddipa ran the offense and the Falcons penetrated the key.
“Trent has been playing a lot of good minutes for us at the point,” Blasco said. “It is obviously early but he is handling that position and controlling the tempo.”
Grace Christian missed shots under the Falcons defensive pressure in the first quarter.
“We had a specific defensive strategy and they missed shots early and could not get into a rhythm,” Blasco said. “We did not want them to make 11 three’s in the game. You can counter two’s at a higher percentage than you can counter three’s.”
The Grizzlies had hit that number in their 72-66 opening tournament victory over Sitka.
According to Blasco the Falcons did a good job of switching on defense and getting their hands up with the goal of contesting every shot from beyond the arch.
Both teams settled into a game flow in the second period with the Falcons going into halftime up 37-24 and into the final period leading 53-38.
Seymour hit 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, Calloway five and sophomore Guy Bean two to close out the game.
Senior Ben Jahn continued to dominate the glass, again tallying over 10 rebounds, and control the defensive key.
“He was a physical presence on the floor again,” Blasco said. “He was the presence inside that we needed. It is always a good thing when we win a game and someone with his offensive ability doesn’t score.”
Uddipa and junior Brendan Pietz added eight points apiece for the Falcons, and junior Collin Ludeman and Bean four each.
The Grizzlies got 15 points from Hans Karlberg. 13 from Eric Johnson and 12 from Alex Fancher. Daniel Vanderweide scored eight, and Tor Strand and Luke Offord had two each.
Thunder Mountain was perfect at the charity stripe, hitting 5-5, and Grace Christian went 5-7.
The Falcons play the Sitka Wolves, a 68-64 winner over Barrow, at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. TMHS beat Barrow 65-57 on Thursday.
“We still have a long way to go,” Blasco said. “We have a lot to learn and need to get everybody playing time and figure out roles. It is definitely nice to start the season off with two wins against two good teams.”