Alex Williams curled around a screen and swished home a wide-open 3-pointer on the Ketchikan boys basketball team’s first possession Saturday night.
Barely 10 seconds in, the Kings were off and running.
Williams scored the game’s first five points and senior Jesse Lindgren added eight in the opening period as Ketchikan built early leads of 7-0 and 18-8 en route to a 54-32 win over Thunder Mountain at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
Thanks to an efficient offensive attack and a defense that created 14 first half-turnovers, the Kings were never seriously threatened while taking a 33-17 lead at halftime and a 50-24 advantage after three quarters.
“It’s a lot more fun when we’re crisp offensively and flying up and down the floor,” Ketchikan coach Eric Stockhausen said. “What we need to do from now on is really defend our end of the floor. We’re not going to shoot great every night, and we’re going to have to learn to win when we don’t.”
Williams got the Kings started by splashing his first 3-pointer, then made it 5-0 when he pump-faked out of another triple to get past two Thunder Mountain defenders for a 10-foot floater. Lindgren put the Kings up 7-0 with a layup before freshman Matt Seymour finally got the Falcons on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer at the 4:30-mark.
Thunder Mountain had more turnovers — nine — than points over the first eight minutes.
“The turnovers were huge. And they weren’t necessarily forced turnovers,” Thunder Mountain coach John Blasco said. “They were just dribbling without a purpose and not making smart basketball decisions. ... Our whole offense never got into any sort of rhythm.”
Balanced Kings pull away in fourth
Eric Stockhausen likes to say he has four players capable of carrying the Ketchikan boys’ basketball team’s offense on any given night.
Those four Kings split the load Friday.
Jesse Lindgren had a team-high 24 points to lead four Ketchikan scorers in double figures, and the Kings opened Southeast Conference play with a 75-51 win over Thunder Mountain at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
Ketchikan’s top guns all took turns leading the charge as senior Chas Allen scored seven in the first quarter, senior Alex Williams hit three 3-pointers in the second, Lindgren kept the Kings afloat with nine in the third and junior Kyle Day closed it out with eight in the fourth.
Lindgren and Allen gave Thunder Mountain fits from the start, combining for 13 first-quarter points as Ketchikan took an early 15-11 lead.
Williams chipped in a pair to help the Kings score the final eight points of the opening period, then got red hot in the second. He aided Ketchikan’s 25-point output with three triples, none more damaging than the one that put Ketchikan ahead 33-23 after Thunder Mountain missed three putback attempts on its previous possession.
The third quarter belonged to Lindgren, who scored nine of Ketchikan’s 14 points to hold off a resilient Thunder Mountain team. The Falcons cut Ketchikan’s lead to five points midway through the third before a late push put the Kings up 54-41.
“Everything was kind of flowing,” Lindgren said. “If it’s flowing and you’re kind of feeling it and people are hitting you, it’s easy to score.”
Lindgren ended up with a double-double, adding 11 rebounds to his 24 points in recovering from a disappointing two-point outing in an endowment game against Mt. Edgecumbe on Thursday. Allen finished with 17 points and six rebounds, while Day scored 16 and Williams had 13 to go with nine boards.
Ketchikan’s offense cruised all night, committing just eight turnovers.
“That’s tough. You really are having to guard four guys,” Thunder Mountain coach John Blasco said. “They’re very balanced in that they’re probably going to get double figures each night. ... We’re going to have to figure out some adjustments to take one or two of them out of the game.”
Thunder Mountain has a completely new look this season, with just three seniors on its roster and a freshman and sophomore in its starting lineup.
The Falcons got off to a pretty good start in the first quarter thanks to its solid outside shooting, and kept fighting through the third even as Ketchikan started to heat up. Freshman Matt Seymour didn’t look like a first-year player, scoring a team-high 18 points while showing off his perimeter touch — with two 3-pointers — and his driving ability, getting to the free-throw line six times.
Sophomore Ty Grussendorf chipped in 11 for the Falcons, hitting three 3-pointers.
“We battled really hard,” Blasco said. “We were right there with them through three quarters. ... I think (Ketchikan’s) ability to control the game and their experience was able to pull away in the fourth.”
• John Borneman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org