Thunder Mountain’s Bryson Echiverri scored 15 points but no other Falcon scored above six in a second-round loss to Ketchikan on Wednesday in the Region V Basketball Tournament.
In a 55-35 defeat to the Kings at the B.J. McGillis Gymnasium, Echiverri kept the Falcons afloat with nine first-half points. When he was more closely guarded in the second half though, and no one else in a black jersey could pick up the slack.
Ketchikan’s defense was just that good.
“Last night was a very physical game — guys were banging hard,” said TMHS coach John Blasco. “So tonight to have to face that again against a team like Kayhi who they’re very deep and they’re physical all the way through — it takes a toll on you. You can see it wore us down towards the end.”
Ketchikan’s Chris Lee scored 22 points and Marcus Lee had nine points in the win. It was the Kings’ sixth consecutive victory, and with one more on Friday at 1:15 p.m., they’ll hoist the Region V 4A boys trophy for the first time in four years.
“We really defended that 3-point line,” Kayhi coach Eric Stockhausen said. “I think they only got two (3’s) tonight and that’s a big part of what they do. We were trying to be the best defensive team in the state of Alaska (this season). I think we took a step that way tonight.”
Marcus Lee sat early with foul trouble. But with Kayhi’s defense purring, the absence of the third-highest scorer in Ketchikan Kings history didn’t seem to matter. The Kings led comfortably 27-16 at halftime.
“I’ve never been able to play 10 or 11 guys consistently in my 28 years of coaching,” Stockhausen said. “We haven’t had a kid complain, we haven’t had a kid quit, they all have accepted their role and they do it to the best of their ability. So I’ve got good players that are onlyplaying eight to nine minutes, but when they get in, they impact the game defensively, rebounding-wise.”
Marcus Lee was back on the floor in the third quarter, and hit two 3-pointers to extend the lead. The Falcons never threatened over the final 10 minutes of play after going down by 17 points.
“We got a couple buckets and I think we got it to nine (points) and they hit big 3’s,” Blasco said. “They knocked down a lot of shots and those 3’s took the wind out of our sail. All of a sudden the lead went back up to 17 and 20.”
Thunder Mountain plays JDHS at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday.
KETCHIKAN 15 12 17 11 — 55: C. Lee 22, M. Lee 9, Seludo 8, Pihl 4, Taylor 3, Kemble 3, Smith 2, Caparas 2.
THUNDER MOUNTAIN 5 11 13 8: 37: Echiverri 15, Carandang 6, Jenkins 6, P. Toutaiolepo 6, M. Toutaiolepo 4.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.