ANCHORAGE - For the second straight game, Ketchikan was on the cusp of posting an upset win at the Class 4A boys state tournament.
And for the second straight game, mistakes in the closing minutes erased the Kings' lead and led to a loss.
The seventh-seeded Kings fell to third-seeded Bartlett 64-55 on Friday in a consolation-round game at Anchorage's Sullivan Arena. The loss knocked Kayhi out of the tourney; the Kings fell to second-seeded Colony 62-57 on Thursday.
Ketchikan faced Bartlett and its star, Mario Chalmers, in the state tournament last season and lost 77-42. Friday's game was a much different story, as Kayhi led 49-46 entering the fourth quarter.
"We knew their style of play, we knew Chalmers was going to be a big threat. We handled it well until two minutes left in the fourth quarter," senior center Tyler Richardson said. "We had some bad execution."
"For three-and-a-half quarters, we played as a team," Kayhi senior Derek Clark said. "We just didn't execute at the end."
Colony faced defending champion West Anchorage in the Class 4A boys title game late Saturday night. Results of that game can be found on the Web at www.asaa.org.
On Friday, Bartlett (18-11 overall) led most of the first quarter and held a 21-18 lead at the end of the period. The Golden Bears led by as many as six points in the second quarter before taking a 34-31 lead into halftime.
Clark tied the game at 36-all with 7 minutes, 9 seconds left in the third quarter when he put back a missed free throw. Kayhi's Thomas Montgomery gave his team a 38-36 edge when he scored 37 seconds later.
After Bartlett regained the lead, Kayhi tied it again at 44-all on a 3-pointer by senior Jesse LeBeau with 2:09 left in the third. Then Clark - continuing to play on a ruptured ACL suffered in February - completed a three-point play with a half-second left in the quarter to put the Kings ahead 49-46.
Bartlett tied the game a half-minute into the final period, and took the lead on a powerful dunk by Chalmers with 3:56 left in the game. Chalmers - who will play for NCAA Division I powerhouse Kansas next fall and who played in the McDonald's All-American game on Wednesday - was fouled on the play, and made the free throw to put the Golden Bears ahead 52-51.
Ketchikan regained the lead on two occasions, but the momentum was in Bartlett's favor. The Kings did not score in the final 2:50.
"We had both games - we could have won," Clark said. "It just fell out of our hands. ... Our first goal (this season) was to win regionals, and we did that. Our second goal was to compete and win a couple of games at state. We competed, but we didn't win. It's hard, as a senior, thinking about your last game."
LeBeau scored 13 points, Richardson added 12 and senior Mike Meacock chipped in 10 for the Kings. Chalmers scored 13 points for Bartlett, while Kevin Windford and Damon Ingram added 10 points apiece.
The loss ended the prep careers of Ketchikan's eight seniors, who fueled the recent rise of the Kayhi boys program. Last season, the Kings won the team's first Southeast-Class 4A title since 1989. This season, they earned the Southeast-Class 3A/4A crossover title and reached their second straight state tourney.
"We've done a pretty good job representing Kayhi," Richardson said. "We're hoping we opened the eyes of the younger kids, to get them ready so they know what they can do."
"We changed everything," Clark said. "It used to be just Juneau, Juneau, Juneau. Now we started our own streak. Hope the next 10, 12 guys will step up and repeat it."
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASS 4A BOYS STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
GOLDEN BEARS 64, KINGS 55
Friday's consolation boys game from Anchorage's Sullivan Arena
KETCHIKAN (55) - Thomas Montgomery 2-3 0-0 4, Jesse LeBeau 4-12 2-3 13, Derek Clark 3-9 3-6 9, Casey Bass 3-6 0-0 7, Mike Meacock 3-5 4-6 10, Charles Altman 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Richardson 6-14 0-1 12. Totals: 21-49 9-16 55.
BARTLETT (64) - Dante McCormick 1-1 0-0 2, Quentin Jennings 1-1 2-3 4, Ryan Havellana 4-5 1-3 9, Kyan Howard 2-5 4-4 8, Mario Chalmers 2-9 9-9 13, Kevin Windford 2-4 4-6 10, Travis Blackmon 0-0 0-0 0, Dexter Registe 2-5 0-0 5, Polo Sappa 0-0 0-0 0, Damon Ingram 3-6 4-5 10, David Williams 1-5 1-4 3. Totals: 18-41 25-34 64.
KETCHIKAN 18 13 18 6 - 55
BARTLETT 21 13 12 18 - 64
3-point goals - Ketchikan 4-12 (LeBeau 3-6, Bass 1-3, Montgomery 0-1, Clark 0-2), Bartlett 3-10 (Windford 2-3, Registe 1-2, Howard 0-2, Chalmers 0-3). Rebounds - Ketchikan 32 (Richardson 8), Bartlett 28 (Havellana 6). Assists - Ketchikan 12 (Clark 4), Bartlett 3 (Havellana 2). Blocked shots - Ketchikan 1 (Richardson), Bartlett 2 (Chalmers, Ingram). Steals - Ketchikan 7 (Montgomery 2, Meacock 2), Bartlett 8 (Havellana 2, Ingram 2, Williams 2). Turnovers - Ketchikan 16, Bartlett 16. Fouled out - Ketchikan 1 (Clark), Bartlett 0. Technical fouls - None. Total fouls - Ketchikan 25, Bartlett 15.