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It was a bittersweet ending to the Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball season, as the Falcons were eliminated from the Region V 4A Regions Tournament against Ketchikan on Friday for a 55-50 finish.
While Ketchikan held the lead for much of the game, the Falcons managed to keep the score close all the way down to the final seconds of the fourth quarter, but the Kings refused to let go, securing their spot in the championship game later Friday evening against the top seeded Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé at 8:15 p.m.
Ketchikan coach Eric Stockhausen said while he’s proud of his team, much credit is due to TMHS for their determination.
“I think the ending just showed the passion that is evident in our conference,” Stockhausen said. “We had Thunder Mountain down by 15 and they could have given up, but they never did. Just seeing the emotions on the line, we just have a lot of respect for Thunder Mountain, coach Blasco and all of those kids, especially the seniors. We hit free throws when we needed to, we made it a little more interesting but credit to Thunder Mountain for fighting to the end and luckily we made a play or two at the end that helped us close it out.”
For Ketchikan, JJ Parker led in scores with 26 points and Marcus Stockhausen put up 14 points. For TMHS Thomas Baxter had a total of 18 points with MJ Tupou coming in with 16.
TMHS coach John Blasco said that even though it wasn’t the ending the Falcons had hoped for, he’s proud of the “heart” and effort that everyone showed during the game and the entire season.
“We would have loved to have cut down the nets for the first time on our home floor, but we got beat and that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Blasco said. “We want to make sure we say thank you to MJ Tupou for the season he gave us and the leadership as a senior, we’re definitely going to miss him. Caden Mercer, Sam Sika, great kids, really appreciate having them as a part of the program. We didn’t quit, which is something I’m mostly thankful for, just how much heart they showed.”
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.