Kake High School opened defense of its Class 2A Southeast Conference boys basketball title with a 74-36 Thursday win over Skagway at the Juneau-Douglas High School gymnasium.
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The Thunderbirds went on a 14-0 run in the middle of the first quarter and never looked back.
Senior captain Trevor Rostad scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the first quarter as Kake raced out to a 20-3 lead. Rostad set the game's tone by scoring most of his points on breakaway lay-ups.
Kake boasted a size and experience advantage in the contest with seven seniors to Skagway's one, as well as six players taller than 6 feet. The Panthers had two players 6 feet or taller.
Kake used its height advantage well, gathering most of the rebounds. The edge on the boards gave the T-Birds many second- and third-chance shot opportunities throughout the game.
The Thunderbirds' 6-foot-8 starting center, freshman Dylan Lee, proved a major reason for Kake's domination in the paint as he chipped in nine points. He also went 3 for 8 from the free throw line.
Other solid performances from Kake players included sophomores Travis Acevada and Lance Doake. Acevada scored 12 points while Doake had nine points with two 3-pointers coming in the second quarter.
Kake didn't leave the game unscathed as freshman Adam Dolan left the contest in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Following the game, Kake coach Arthur Johnson took Dolan to Bartlett Regional Hospital for further examination.
The T-Birds were already playing without Russell James after the senior injured his ankle in a game last week.
Johnson said the key to the Thunderbirds' impressive performance Thursday was the fact the team was "getting everybody back together."
Kake spread the ball around unselfishly with nine players scoring in the contest as their team chemistry seemed to only get better during the course of the game.
"We're clicking on all cylinders," Johnson said.
Although Kake controlled the game, Skagway showed signs of hope after ending the game on a 5-0 run. Skagway freshman Mickey Wilson led the Panthers with 13 points.
Kake will play Klawock in the semifinal round at 8:30 p.m. today.
Skagway will take on Angoon in the consolation round at 1 p.m. today.
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