Falcon boys go 1-1 against Sitka, Kings roll over girls

Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thunder Mountain picked up a 66-53 win over 3A Sitka on the road Friday night behind 40 points from seniors Cody Grussendorf and Reese Saviers.

The Falcons took a 36-26 lead into the break, but Sitka crawled back into the game with a 10-5 run to start the third quarter.

Grussendorf sparked the Falcons with a steal at midcourt that led to a fast break dunk and the defensive pressure picked up after that, as TMHS extended its lead to 18.

I was very pleased with how we played after not having played a game for three weeks," coach John Blasco said via e-mail. "Our offense was balanced and team oriented."

Grussendorf and Saviers each scored 20 poins, while Jazz King had eight, Torey Franzen seven, Keith Ainsworth four, Ty Grussendorf three, and two each for Jack Gates and Brian Koenig.

The C Team won 35-12 with Josh Tupou scoring nine points, and the JV Falcons lost 49-45. Gary Speck led the JV team with 14 points, while Ty Grussendorf scored 10.

C-Team won 35-12, with seven of the eight guys scoring. Josh Tupou led the team with 9 points.

On Saturday, Sitka avenged its loss with a 65-54 win over Thunder Mountain (7-5, 1-1). More information to come in Monday's sports section.

Kings roll in Game 1, Falcons improve for second SE Conference matchup

The Kings cruised to a 66-27victory over visting Thunder Mountain on Saturday in Southeast Conference girls' basketball at Ketchikan High School.

TMHS (0-15, 0-2) coach Tanya Nizich said her young team showed a great deal of improvement from Game 1 to Game 2.

"We changed up defenses (Friday) night between a 3-2 (zone) and man-to-man, but (Saturday) we stayed in the 3-2 and we talked about anticipating the passes and moving faster, being where we're supposed to be on the fly. We did really well on it."

Nizich said the Falcons' level of intensity was greatly improved.

"We took shots early on and started getting in the groove," she said. "I keep telling the girls, if you don't shoot, you don't get a chance to score. So the ball's got to go up, and I'll get on their cases if they pass up a shot.

"It worked out well for us because even on the misses, we crashed the boards the best we could."

Shale Kibby led the Falcons with seven points, Eyerus Tingley scored six, Jonelle Staveland five, Jordan Jeans four and Janie White one.

Crystal Blair found out she was nominated for the McDonald's All-American team just minutes before Kayhi's game against Thunder Mountain Friday.

It didn't take long for the senior guard to show the crowd at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium why.

Blair scored seven first-quarter points as the Kayhi (13-2, 3-1) girls' basketball team jumped out to an early lead, then cruised past Thunder Mountain 73-26 in the first-ever meeting between the teams.

"I don't even know what to think. I was going crazy," Blair said of learning she was nominated. "I felt like crying. I didn't know what to say."

She managed to utter a quick "Thank you" over the sound of a standing ovation, and then the Lady Kings got to work.

Thunder Mountain scored the game's first basket for a 2-0 lead, but that wouldn't last long. Kayhi forced 17 turnovers in the first quarter, including 10 in the first four minutes as the Kings built a 19-4 advantage with 2:17 left in the quarter.

"After the press already hurt us a bit, we talked about getting open ... and less dribbling, more passing to get the ball up the court," Thunder Mountain coach Tanya Nizich said. "I think there were a lot of young mistakes out there."

Kayhi coach Kelly Smith pulled his starters with less than a minute remaining in the opening period, but the Kings' bench kept piling on the points. Sophomore Erin Doherty, seeing rare minutes at the varsity level, made it 25-5 with a 3-pointer early in the second quarter, then scored five quick points to make it 38-7 with 2:04 left in the first half.

Doherty finished the quarter with 10 points, and had a game-high 16 for Kayhi.

"We wouldn't be where we're at without our bench," Blair said. "We wanted to get them experience, and get them in the game, doing what we know they can do."

Kayhi's starters came back out to start the second half, but Smith pulled them for good at the 4:30 mark of the third quarter after senior Ciara Patton hit a 3-pointer to give Kayhi a 36-point lead.

The Lady Kings pushed that advantage to 40 points early in the fourth, triggering the 40-point running clock rule.

"We still didn't hit the shots early that we thought we should hit," Smith said. "But we got up and down the floor and we're aggressive. The girls work hard, and I'm happy with how (the game) went."

Jonelle Staveland had 12 points to lead Thunder Mountain, which is in its first season of varsity athletics.

Junior Jessica Moss scored 13 points for Kayhi, nine in the second half. Tess Seierup had seven points as 11 players scored for the Lady Kings.

Blair finished with 11 points in very limited action, but had the best night of anyone after finding out she was among the 800-1,000 players in the United States nominated for the 24-person McDonald's All-America team. Blair is one of seven players from Alaska to be nominated, along with Juneau-Douglas' Brittany Fenumiai.

"It's huge, and it's well-deserved," Smith said. "It's awesome for our community ... and you can't get a better candidate than Crystal Blair."

Kayhi and Thunder Mountain play the second game of a two-game series at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

•john@ketchikandailynews.com



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