The Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team lost 49-47 Wednesday night to Ketchikan, who can win its first Region V 4A championship in three years with another win on Friday.
Junior Puna Toutaiolepo and senior Josh McAndrews scored 10 points apiece in the loss. Sophomore Brady Carandang added eight and seniors Roy Tupou and Luke Clark had six.
Kayhi sophomore Chris Lee scored 21 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Kristian Pihl finished with 12 points while junior Marcus Lee finished with seven.
The Falcons must defeat Juneau-Douglas High School Thursday at 1:15 p.m. in order to keep its season alive. TMHS was 3-1 against JDHS during the regular season.
“It’s a heartbreaking loss,” TMHS head coach John Blasco said. “Now we have to go about (winning regions) the hard way.”
The Kings went on a 9-2 run midway through the fourth quarter and led 47-40 with two minutes to go. But TMHS hung around and Carandang’s 3-pointer with five seconds left brought the Falcons within one.
After Pihl made one of two free throws, McAndrews sped up the court with four seconds remaining for one last shot attempt. The senior point guard handed the ball off to Clark in the left corner of the court. After dropping the ball, Clark rose up and shot, but the ball was well short of the rim. Blasco thought there may have been contact on the play, but said Ketchikan deserves the credit for the win.
“They played a great game and they beat us,” Blasco said. “I just wanted us to have a chance to win it.”
TMHS closed the first half on a 9-0 run and led 22-21 at halftime.
Aside from senior McAndrews, the Falcons did not bring much postseason experience with them to Ketchikan. Clark, an offensive force for the Falcons this season, sat out from the tournament last year with a bad knee.