The Thunder Mountain High School girls basketball team poses for a photo after winning the Ocean View Invitational. (Courtesy Photo)

The Thunder Mountain High School girls basketball team poses for a photo after winning the Ocean View Invitational. (Courtesy Photo)

Lady Falcons fly high in California tournament

TMHS girls now 7-0.

The Thunder Mountain High School girls are tournament champs —again.

The Lady Falcons reeled off four wins on the road to claim the top spot in a tournament hosted by Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, California. It’s the second tournament they’ve won, previously placing first in the Sitka Coastal Holiday Classic, and their record now sits at 7-0.

Thunder Mountain defeated Saddleback High School by a score of 51-24. Ocean View High School 51-27, Loara High School 57-14 and Norco High School 51-24.

“‘Seeing double’ was a consistent theme as the Carandang twins combined with the varsity twins to lead the varsity to four wire-to-write wins,” said coach Andy Lee in a Saturday morning message to the Empire.

Juniors Jaya and Mika Carandang made a combined 10 3-pointers in the games while drawing opponents’ top guards as their defensive assignments, Lee said. Meanwhile, sophomores Kerra and Cailynn Baxter contributed on both offense and defense, too. Kerra Baxter had a 26-point outing against Loara and scored more than 10 points in each game. Cailynn Baxter was among the team leaders in rebounds, led TMHS in blocks and also shot well, Lee said.

Junior Ashlyn Gates also scored over 10 points twice while playing well in the post, according to Lee, and freshman Cambry Lockhart “sparkled” on defense with four multi-steal games.

“We are all adjusting to the ‘new normal’” Lee said. “We feel our schedule is a bit like colleges getting pre-conference tests. We certainly have work to do, and our youth shows up occasionally, but I’m impressed with our maturity.”

The junior varsity teams and C teams also played well in the tournament in their respective division. The JV team coached by Kylie Ibias went 4-0, and the C team came in third place.

Leading scorers for the JV team included Kara Strong and Brea Eckis, Lee said, with Strong pacing the team in points in three games and Eckis going off for 26 points in the third round.

C team standouts included Alayna Echiverri and Nani Frommherz.

Lee is, of course, pleased with his team’s 7-0 start, but a tough in-conference opponent awaits TMHS in the near future.

“It’s important to the kids and community, but Monday is all about Ketchikan,” Lee said.

The Lady Falcons will host the Ketchikan High School Lady Kings on Friday and Saturday. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m.

“We are hopeful to capitalize on these experiences,” Lee said.

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

The Thunder Mountain High School junior varsity girls basketball team poses for a photo after winning their division the Ocean View Invitational. (Courtesy Photo)

The Thunder Mountain High School junior varsity girls basketball team poses for a photo after winning their division the Ocean View Invitational. (Courtesy Photo)

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