Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter (#33) takes a shot under the basket against Ketchikan High School’s Jonathan Scoblic during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter (#33) takes a shot under the basket against Ketchikan High School’s Jonathan Scoblic during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Fit to be tied: TMHS and Ketchikan split weekend games, leaving all Southeast region teams at .500

Falcons and JDHS, after splitting games last week, face each other again on Friday and Saturday.

For a trio of teams who know each other remarkably well and are all tied for first (and last) place in the conference, it’s remarkable how consistent they are in their inconsistency.

A few days after the boys basketball teams for Juneau’s two high schools split games against each other — with the visiting team winning by about 20 points both times — Thunder Mountain High School had another split at home against third conference member Ketchikan High School, losing 62-51 on Friday before turning the tables in a 54-47 win Saturday.

The outcome leaves TMHS and JDHS with 3-3 records, and Ketchikan at 4-4, in the Region V 4A conference.

“That’s what people laugh at,” said TMHS Head Coach John Blasco after Saturday’s game. “It’s like I’ve faced (Ketchikan coach Eric) Stockhausen ninetysome times. I’ve faced (JDHS coach Robert) Casperson ninetysome times because we’ve been coaching against each other for the last 13, 14, 15 years. You have to make adjustments, right? You play each other four times before you go playing them in the region tournaments, so you always look at adjustments.”

Ketchikan High School’s Marcus Stockhausen tries to get a shot past Thunder Mountain High School’s James Polasky during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Ketchikan High School’s Marcus Stockhausen tries to get a shot past Thunder Mountain High School’s James Polasky during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The Falcons, after trailing 17-7 at the end of the first quarter on Friday, rallied to keep the game within reach with a halftime score of 29-23. But Ketchikan took control in the third quarter, outscoring TMHS 23-12 to take a 52-35 lead before coasting to a 62-51 final score.

Saturday started on a similar note with the Falcons trailing 17-12 at the end of the first quarter and 26-23 at halftime. But TMHS rallied to take a 33-31 lead at the end of the third quarter, and then hit several critical free throws — and forced Ketchikan into key turnovers — in the final few minutes to preserve their seven-point win.

“It’s hard when you’re in down the last minute or two,” Blasco said. “They’ve got to start making faster plays and start making they go start making faster plays, and then they end up having to foul and we made our free throws late.”

Thomas Baxter led the Falcons on Saturday with 21 points, while Samuel Lockhart scored 14 points. Ketchikan’s Marcus Stockhausen led all scorers with 22 points.

Thunder Mountain High School’s Lance Nierra looks for space inside during Saturday’s game against Ketchikan High School on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School’s Lance Nierra looks for space inside during Saturday’s game against Ketchikan High School on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

TMHS is 15-8 overall this season, JDHS 13-10 and Ketchikan 12-11. The two Juneau teams will play another pair of games against each other, at TMHS on Friday and JDHS on Saturday, to close out the regular season before regional tournament play starts.

Blasco said that, given the even records of the conference teams, intangibles are likely to make the difference in the upcoming games.

“We played four conference games in five days, a pretty exhausting little stretch,” he said. “And so we’ve got to show up on Monday and hopefully make some quick adjustments, and revert back to a different team, because they’re two different styles of teams that we’ve got to play against.”

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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