The Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team ceded its second game to the Ketchikan Kings at the Thunderdome on Saturday.
In the second of two Southeast Conference competitions last weekend, the Falcons lost to the Kings 70-52.
The Falcons stuck with Ketchikan in the first half and made a game of it down the stretch. With a little over four minutes left, TMHS junior Chase Saviers drew a foul while shooting a 3-pointer from Kayhi senior Matt Standley, hitting all of his shots to cut the Falcons’ deficit to 10 points. Kayhi then split a pair of foul shots, going up 11, and TMHS junior Noah Reishus-O’Brien answered with a layup to cut the deficit to nine.
TMHS couldn’t whittle Ketchikan’s lead down any further and dropped to a 5-9 record on the year, while the Kings (13-3) will likely remain the No. 1 ranked 4A basketball team. Kayhi’s only conference loss this year was to Juneau-Douglas High School a week ago.
Compared to Friday’s frantic pace, Saturday’s tilt slowed for both teams. However, it seems nobody told this to Saviers. The 5-foot, 7-inch guard played with an inspired energy every time he stepped onto the court.
“Having high energy helps me play better and I think it boosts everyone up and gives everyone more confidence,” Saviers said.
Saviers would need every bit of that energy as he guarded talented Ketchikan shooter Matt Standley.
“I’ve been guarding him for three years now and you’ve always got to have a hand in his face or else he’ll knock down the shot,” Saviers added.
Saviers led TMHS in the scoring column with 12 points. Reishus-O’Brien had nine and senior Shane Mielke chipped in eight.
Ketchikan was led by Standley with 18. Seniors Jason James and Mo Bullock had 14 each, and senior big man Nathan Bonck added 10.
The first half was a close one, as TMHS once again took its chances from the three-point line, banking its game plan on drawing Ketchikan out on the perimeter. Going into the locker room, TMHS was down 28-24.
Ketchikan head coach Eric Stockhausen asked his team to buckle down defensively in the third, allowing the Kings to go on a 10-point run to open the second half.
“It was a tight first half. We had a couple of breaks here and there and we were able to sustain a run. I think that eased tension a little,” Stockhausen said. “The longer you’re in a tight game, the pressure starts to build, so the fact that we were able to break loose of that four-point spread really helped us.”
Thunder Mountain will take this weekend off and travel to Ketchikan to play two weekend games at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 19 and Feb. 20. Those games will be streamed online at kayhibasketball.k21schools.org.