Thunder Mountain's Mahina Toutaiolepo, top, attempts a steal against Hutchinson's Xavier Ughuterbe at TMHS on Thursday. TMHS won 71-42.

Thunder Mountain's Mahina Toutaiolepo, top, attempts a steal against Hutchinson's Xavier Ughuterbe at TMHS on Thursday. TMHS won 71-42.

TMHS boys withstand rally from 3A Hutchinson

Juneau’s visiting 3A basketball opponents are handing out reality checks this weekend.

After trouncing Hutchinson High School by 29 points Thursday night, the Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team eked out a 63-54 win against the visiting 3A Hawks on Friday.

Thunder Mountain steadily built a big lead during the first three quarters only to see their 25 point advantage more than halved in the fourth. The Falcons looked to get their whole team involved in this non-conference game, and spread the ball around well. But the Falcons gave up too many turnovers down the stretch to keep a comfortable lead.

Falcons’ coach John Blasco felt his team’s intensity wasn’t where it needed to be for portions of the game.

“We went on a 15-point run and we were up 20-plus, and then we relaxed and they took advantage,” he said. “No matter whether you’re up or down you can never settle, the game’s never over. Sitka was down 32 and cut it to eight against JD (on Thursday); these guys were down 25 and cut it to seven. Games turn quickly.”

Though Hutchinson willed themselves back into the game late, TMHS was in the driver’s seat most of the way. With a heavy lead, coach Blasco seemed to be aiming to get some of his younger players more experience, and the scoresheet reflects a balanced share of the offensive work.

Junior Chase Saviers led his team with 17 points, followed by senior Jeremiah Stephens with 15, junior Noah Reishus-O’Brien with 12 and sophomore Luke Clark with 11.

Hutchinson’s Xavier Ughuterbe led all scorers with 22 points; Jadon White contributed 12 and Garrison Poland had six.

The game started somewhat close, with TMHS outscoring Hutchinson by five in each of the first two quarters. TMHS simply moved the ball better offensively than their opponents, while Hutchinson seemed to depend on their one-on-one play. At halftime the Falcons possessed a 30-20 lead.

In the third, TMHS’ Stephens lit up, scoring on four-consecutive plays, hitting three 3-pointers and a fast break layup on a 12-point TMHS scoring run. Blasco said he was pleased with how his unit started the third.

“We started with a different group in the third quarter,” he said. “I tried to pick the five guys with the most energy on our team and it worked to start the half, which helped us to that run.”

The Falcons travel to Ketchikan next weekend to play two games. Tip off is at 7:15 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Those games can be streamed online at http://kayhibasketball.k21schools.org/.

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