Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire 
Thomas Baxter, a junior, leads the Thunder Mountain High School Falcons through a banner to start the second half of a home win against Petersburg.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire Thomas Baxter, a junior, leads the Thunder Mountain High School Falcons through a banner to start the second half of a home win against Petersburg.

Falcons rule the roost in season opener

Thunder Mountain bests Petersburg at home.

A comfortable win quickly turned into the blowout victory for the Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team thanks to an explosive third quarter.

The Falcons enjoyed an 11-point, 28-17, advantage against visiting Petersburg High School heading into halftime of their season-opening home game. In the third quarter, TMHS opted to up the defensive intently and push the pace on offense to immediate results. By the end of the third quarter, Thunder Mountain was up 56-26.

“We decided to turn up the tempo in the third quarter with a little bit of press, trying to speed up the offense, and we were able to,” said coach John Blasco in a post-game interview. “A 30-point third quarter created that separation for us.”

[Falcons ready to take off]

TMHS wound up winning the game 75-36, with three players reaching double-digit scoring totals. Junior Thomas Baxter led the way with 15 points with 9 points coming in the Falcons’ nuclear third quarter. Senior MJ Tupou added 12 points, including 2 off of a nifty fake that put his defender on skates opening the way for an easy shot. Samuel Lockhart scored 10 points, including 4 points in the third quarter off of turnover-generated fast breaks.

Blasco noted that Petersburg played tough and faced some adverse circumstances. The Vikings were down two players, played two games over the weekend and were playing a larger school on the road.

By late in the third quarter, the Falcons’ starters were resting, but TMHS’ reserves played well too, adding 19 points in the fourth quarter. In total, 11 Falcons scored in the game. Blasco said beyond the final score, he was encouraged by the team effort and the flow of the offense.

“I thought we moved the ball well, I thought we had some good assists to each other,” Blasco said. “It was nice to see everybody got in and a lot of people got to score points.”

While the TMHS junior varsity and C teams played against Petersburg on Thursday morning in a bit of unusual scheduling to allow for travel, varsity will be off until Dec. 28.

Next up for the now 1-o Falcons is a tournament at Franklin High School in Seattle.

The annual TMHS alumni game is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire 
Samuel Lockhart makes his way toward the hoop for a tough layup following a TMHS steal. Lockhart, a junior, finished the game with 10 points.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire Samuel Lockhart makes his way toward the hoop for a tough layup following a TMHS steal. Lockhart, a junior, finished the game with 10 points.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire 
Krishna Sanguni goes up for a layup during the fourth quarter a TMHS Falcons win against Pertersburg. The junior was one of 11 players to score during the game, including a putback in the closing seconds of the first half.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire Krishna Sanguni goes up for a layup during the fourth quarter a TMHS Falcons win against Pertersburg. The junior was one of 11 players to score during the game, including a putback in the closing seconds of the first half.

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