The Thunder Mountain High School girls and boys basketball teams won the first game of their respective series against the visiting Ketchikan Kings on Friday night at the Thunder Dome.
The Falcons girls opened an 8-3 lead behind junior Ashley Young and sophomore Ava Tompkins and held on to an 8-6 first quarter lead.
Tompkins would tally 22 points on the night and Young 18; but no other Falcons player hit more than one basket in the game.
“It is always scary having two top scorers like that and still getting everybody else involved,” Thunder Mountain coach Tanya Nizich said. “But it worked out for us tonight.”
Young owned the second quarter, scoring all of the team’s six points, but the Lady Kings’ Alexis Biggerstaff tallied seven herself and Ketchikan took an 18-14 advantage into the half.
Tompkins tallied 10 points and Young four, and freshman Siniva Maka her only two game points in the third quarter to keep the Falcons within three at 31-28 with eight minutes to play.
After a Kayhi basket by Jayley Taylor to start the final quarter, Tompkins and Young slowly began to work the key.
Tompkins netted two free throws, a steal for a basket and Young scored on two put backs for a 36-35 lead with 5:20 remaining.
Brooke Simmons gave the lead back to Kayhi and Taylor widened it with a steal and a basket.
Young tallied again to close the gap to one at 39-38 and the Lady Kings’ Eliah Anderson put in another deuce for the 41-38 advantage with 1:14 remaining.
A big block by freshman Alondra Echiverri gained ball possession for the Falcons and the underclassman was rewarded for her defense with a rotation to the arch where she hit her only basket, a 3-pointer, for a 42-41 lead with 49 seconds remaining.
On Kayhi’s next possession Falcons’ junior Cheyenne Ekis stole a pass and was fouled on a break-a-way layup. Ekis would hit her only two points from the charity stripe for a 44-41 lead.
“I knew we needed to get the ball to win,” Ekis said. “It felt good. I was reading it up the court and that was my intention, to steal it and go and hopefully get the shot. Those were the biggest free throws of my career so far.”
After a Kayhi miss, Tompkins was fouled on the rebound with 15 seconds remaining and canned both shots for the final 46-41 margin.
“I just wanted to win,” Tompkins said. “That was all that was going through my mind.”
TMHS went 6-13 at the charity stripe; Kayhi 6-12.
Alexis Biggerstaff led the Lady Kings with 15 points, Eliah Anderson 11, Brooke Simmons five, Jayley Taylor four, Felicia Ruaro three, Alexis Crellin two and Courtney Kemble one.
“Overall I saw all of the players tonight hungry to get a win,” Nizich said. “That was exciting because they were not going to stop for anything short of that. For our team it gives us confidence going into the rest of the games this season, no matter what happens down the road.”
TMHS FALCONS BOYS 56, KAYHI KINGS 48
The TMHS boys got behind the shooting of seniors Matt Seymour and Josh Palmer and junior Jacob Calloway to take a 56-48 win over Ketchikan in the first Southeast Conference meeting between the two schools this season.
Seymour and Palmer hit for 15 points each and Calloway 13. No other Falcons player had more than one basket.
“You could see Matt was going early and Josh was on tonight too,” Thunder Mountain coach John Blasco said. “Jacob stayed consistent but you could see that Josh wanted it late, so we got him the ball.”
Alan Fisher and Mike Uddipa hit their only baskets of the night in the first quarter, each burying a deep triple and Seymour and Calloway both scored from the charity stripe and Palmer from the field in a 12-12 contest.
TMHS senior Ryan Lee would add his three game points in the second quarter, scoring on a free throw and a basket, and claiming two rebounds. Calloway's triple and Palmers two jumpers, plus a Seymour free throw off set seven Kayhi players finding the net.
The game would be even at the half 25-25.
“Defensively I don’t like where we are,” Blasco said. “We are getting beat off the dribble too much, especially baseline with no help-side. We did make some stops when we needed too.”
Palmer opened the third quarter with a triple, Seymour had six straight points and two blocks, Luke Nye hit his only bucket, and Calloway closed the period with a triple and a 39-36 advantage.
Calloway scored on an intentional foul to start the fourth quarter and was awarded two free throws as well, giving TMHS momentum and a 43-37 lead. Ketchikan closed to within two on baskets by Alex Pihl and Malik Almenzor, but after a TMHS timeout Palmer whirled around his defender for a basket and a foul and a five-point advantage.
The Falcons answered each Kings basket down the stretch and Seymour made the score 49-45 and then blocked his third shot of the game with 1:47 remaining.
“I was really mad I missed that free throw before,” Seymour said. “We just needed to pick it up defensively. The whole game we didn’t play well defensively and I think everyone can tell you that. I think we will bring it tomorrow night, I really hope we do because Ketchikan is a great team. Kudos to them they did a good job on us defensively.”
A turnover by Kayhi gave Calloway room to bury a triple with 1:04 left.
Isaiah Navales scored and was fouled to bring the kings within four at 52-48 but Seymour hit two free throws and blocked a deep shot by Pihl, secured the ball and passed it ahead to Trent Uddipa for the final score of 56-48.
Alex Pihl led the Kings with 13 points, Ned Day nine, Navales and Paulsen eight each, Mo Bullock and Almenzor four each and Jason James two.
TMHS went 13-18 at the charity stripe; Kayhi was 7-11.
The teams meet again Saturday Girls play at 6:30 p.m. (C team 11 a.m., JV 4:30 p.m.) and boys at 8 p.m. (C 12:45 p.m., JV 2:30 p.m.).
Girls C: KTN 20, TMHS 10
KTN – Tori Seley 8, Drew Hoyt 6, Vonni Spigai, McKenzie Harrison, Ingrid Anbueto 2; TM – Mari Ray Gonzalez 6, Danelle Kasnick, Tatiana King 2.
C Boys: TMHS 41, KTN 34
TM – Riley Olson 11, Noah Reishus, Chase Saviers 8, Garth Tupou 4, Jordan Milligan 3, Fletcher Sebans, Mahina Toutailepo, Kody Lowry 2, John Morris 1. KTN – Jackson Pool 11, Brent Taylor, Jordan Sader 7, Brian McClennan 5, Noah King 4.
Boys JV: KTN 62, TMHS 58
KTN – Matt Standley 22, Casey Hendricks 11, Jake Smith, Jack Carson 9, Jason James 6, Jahlil Smith 4, Brian McClennon 1.
TM – RJ Markovich 15, Riley Olson, Jacob Olangco 9, Noah Reishus 6, Brendan Pietz 5, John Vogt 4, Jeremiah Stephens, Moa Maka 3, Chase Saviers, Kevin Andes 2.
Girls JV not available.