The Thunder Mountain boys' basketball team's early season struggles continued over the weekend during the 31st Annual Service Cougar Tip-Off Basketball Tournament in Anchorage, though the Falcons were able to pick up their first win Saturday.
Thunder Mountain (1-4) rolled 72-44 over Lumen Christi in the seventh-place game of the eight-team tournament, and coach John Blasco said it was good for the team to get its first win of the season under its belt.
"It's a good morale booster for the kids to give them the feeling of a victory early in the season after a few tough losses," he said. "We got out and ran (the floor) and played some pressure defense that led to some turnovers, and guys started knocking down outside shots."
The game was relatively close at 22-20, Falcons, after the Archangels made a run in the second quarter. Thunder Mountain led by nine at the break and pulled away in the third quarter.
"We started applying more pressure on the defensive end and finished strong at the hoop," Blasco said of the run that blew the game open.
Sophomore guard Keith Ainsworth led the onslaught with 20 points, while freshman guard Matt Seymour added 17 and sophomore guard Ty Grussendorf scored 13.
"Matt was really key because they had a big kid (Ted Sturgulewski) who scored 23 points, and Matt did a good job on him in the second half," Blasco said, "trying to limit his touches and boxing him out for rebounds on the defensive end."
On Friday, East went on a 26-6 run in the fourth quarter to blow open a close game to top Thunder Mountain 72-42.
Seymour scored 17 points and Ainsworth added 15 for the Falcons.
East senior Lo Lavarr hit five 3-pointers to lead all scorers with 23 points.
Service rolled 73-36 over Thunder Mountain on Thursday.
Senior guard Josh Jones and Ainsworth each scored eight points for the Falcons.
Thunder Mountain is out of action until Dec. 30, when West Valley travels to Juneau.
Bartlett defeated Service 81-66 in the championship game.
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