The Ketchikan boys basketball team got the physical game they expected.
They hung close with and built leads against higher-ranked Colony through three-and-a-half quarters of Thursday's state tournament game in Anchorage. They gave it their total effort - but still came up short in a 62-57 loss.
"We played it right down to the wire," Kayhi senior Jesse LeBeau said. "We made a few mental mistakes, but we left it all out on the court, so we can't be down about that. We have to keep our heads up, and not be two-and-out."
Ketchikan falls into the consolation bracket, where it will play at 1 p.m. today against the loser of Thursday night's late game between Bartlett and Wasilla. Wasilla led 35-25 at halftime; a final score can be found on the Web at www.asaa.org.
In Thursday's other games, East Anchorage beat West Valley 63-51, and defending champion West Anchorage routed Kodiak 77-31 in a game that had to be delayed because Kodiak's flight was late.
Ketchikan, playing at state for the second straight year, was determined to improve on last year's showing, when the Kings opened with a blowout loss to Bartlett.
Colony took an 18-9 lead over Kayhi late in the first quarter Thursday when Rhett Magner scored off a steal of a Kayhi inbounds pass. Ketchikan chipped its deficit down to three - 20-17 - a minute into the second quarter, but Justin Schwartzbauer and Magner hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Colony ahead 26-17 with 5:07 left in the second. Ketchikan's Derek Clark scored a basket with three seconds left in the period to make the score 28-23 Colony at halftime.
Ketchikan rallied to tie the score at 29-all just 90 seconds into the third quarter, and took a 32-31 lead on a 3-pointer by LeBeau with 5:50 remaining in the period. Tyler Richardson completed a three-point play 34 seconds later to put the Kings up 35-31.
With Ketchikan up 37-33, Colony went on a 9-0 run capped by a Magner 3-pointer with a minute to play in the third, giving Colony a 42-37 edge. The Knights led 42-39 entering the fourth quarter.
Kayhi stayed close through the first five minutes of the final period, and trailed by just four points - 51-47 - with 3:01 to play. Then things started to fall apart.
Richardson was called for a foul on Colony's Cade Dickey, and in the aftermath of the tussle under the basket Kayhi's Thomas Montgomery was called for a technical foul. Dickey hit three of four free-throws to give Colony a more comfortable seven-point edge, and the Knights were able to run time off the clock. Colony led by as many as 12 points in the final minute. LeBeau made a 3-pointer, and all three free throws after being fouled on another attempt, to help close the gap in the final score.
Richardson scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Ketchikan (18-7 overall), while LeBeau added 15 points and Clark scored 11.
"They fought hard (but) we missed some early, easy baskets," Ketchikan coach Doug Nausid said. "Tyler went well to the basket. Maybe we should have gone to him more."
"In the second half we came out strong, and we took the lead," Richardson said. "I think we could have won if we had kept our heads in the games (instead of) forcing shots, losing our temper."
Schwartzbauer finished with 17 points for Colony (21-6 overall), while Dickey chipped in 16 and Magner finished with 13 points.
Colony had very little scouting information about Ketchikan before Thursday's game.
"We knew they had a terrific big man and a good point guard - and that's all we knew," Colony coach Jeff Bowker said. "We came out and played like we wanted in the first quarter, but all of a sudden, a nine-point lead went to a three-point lead" before the Knights rebuilt their edge.
Ketchikan is hoping to finish on a strong note, especially with eight seniors on its roster.
"Now the goal is play the next two days and come out with fourth place," Nausid said. "It's important to the seniors to come out with two more wins, to play all three days."
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASS 4A BOYS STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
KNIGHTS 62, KINGS 57
Thursday's first-round boys game from Anchorage's Sullivan Arena
KETCHIKAN (57) - Thomas Montgomery 2-7 0-0 5, Jesse LeBeau 5-11 3-3 15, Derek Clark 4-7 3-3 11, Casey Bass 3-6 0-1 6, Beau Poppen 0-2 0-0 0, Mike Meacock 1-5 0-0 2, Mike Jepson 0-0 0-0 0, Charles Altman 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Richardson 6-14 6-9 18. Totals: 21-52 12-16 57.
COLONY (62) - Ryan Gray 1-2 0-0 2, Justin Schwartzbauer 6-17 4-4 17, Ryan Coffman 0-0 0-0 0, David Registe 2-2 0-0 4, Tim Egger 1-2 1-2 3, Rhett Magner 5-11 1-2 13, Ricky Cunningham 2-2 1-3 5, Cade Dickey 3-9 9-14 16, Kyle Coffman 1-3 0-2 2, Wade Bowen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-48 16-27 62.
KETCHIKAN 11 12 16 18 - 57
COLONY 18 10 14 20 - 62
3-point goals - Ketchikan 3-9 (LeBeau 2-4, Montgomery 1-4, Bass 0-1), Colony 4-9 (Magner 2-5, Dickey 1-1, Schwartzbauer 1-3). Fouled out - None. Technical fouls - Ketchikan 1 (Montgomery), Colony 0. Total fouls - Ketchikan 19, Colony 17.