TMHS junior Lance Nierra (3) races toward the hoop while defended by Palmer senior Chad Landon (22). Nierra finished the game with 6 points. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

TMHS junior Lance Nierra (3) races toward the hoop while defended by Palmer senior Chad Landon (22). Nierra finished the game with 6 points. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

TMHS wins handily against Palmer

Falcons never looked back after a 26-point first quarter.

By the fourth quarter of the Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team’s win against Palmer High School, the only suspense left was over whether Sam Sika would score.

And just inside the fourth quarter’s 4-minute mark, the bruising, seldom-deployed senior settled that with a free throw that drew cheers from both the bleachers and the bench en route to a comfortable 61-38 TMHS win. Sika finished the game with 3 points, leading his team in scoring over the game’s final quarter.

TMHS senior Sam Sika (32) drives through contact late in a Thunder Mountain High School victory against Palmer High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

TMHS senior Sam Sika (32) drives through contact late in a Thunder Mountain High School victory against Palmer High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

The leading scorer for the game’s other 24 minutes was junior Thomas Baxter who put up 22 points across three quarters, including 9 points in a white-hot first quarter for TMHS.

“We jumped out to an early lead,” said coach John Blasco in a post-game interview. “I think that obviously helped carry the momentum for the night. I’m not sure that I recall another time we scored 26 points in the first quarter.”

Juniors Samuel Lockhart and James Polasky also reached double-figure scoring totals with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

“The guys were finding each other in really good ways, both inside and on the perimeter, so that was really fun to watch,” Blasco said.

TMHS was also aggressive on defense, disrupting passing lanes and swatting shots that helped set up some of those fluid possessions.

Thomas Baxter puts up a shot against Palmer High School. The TMHS junior finished the game with 22 points. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Thomas Baxter puts up a shot against Palmer High School. The TMHS junior finished the game with 22 points. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“Palmer’s a young team this year, and a travel day, so we thought, ‘Let’s come out with a little bit of pressure and see if we can get ourselves going ,’ and defense leads to offense,” Blasco said.

The Falcons have now won back-to-back games, improving their record to 6-14 with a 1-3 conference record.

TMHS will have a chance to even its conference record up with games set for 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday against Ketchikan High School. The teams split a pair of close games late last month in Ketchikan.

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

More in Sports

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé goalkeeper Alex Mallott stops a shot by Ketchikan’s Joe Larson (9) during the Crimson Bears 4-2 win May 17 over the Kings during the regional tournament at Adair-Kennedy Field. JDHS defeated Ketchikan again in state semifinals to advance to the state title game. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire file photo)
Both JDHS soccer teams are playing for the state title on Saturday

Boys to defend crown in rematch against Soldotna, followed by top-seeded girls against Kenai Central

(Clarise Larson/ Juneau Empire file photo)
Both JDHS soccer teams advance to state semifinals after decisive wins

Top-seeded girls stay undefeated with 5-0 win against Palmer, second-seeded boys top Homer 3-1.

The author’s wife kneels to net a trout over the weekend. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Live free, fish hard

In my young trout bum days I’d go hard. It was the… Continue reading

An orca swims beside a boat near Berners Bay on May 12. (Photo by Eric Jorgensen)
On the Trails: Orcas, ducks, warblers and others

I went on the Audubon cruise to Berners Bay in May, on… Continue reading

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior battery Lamar Blatnick (catcher) and Landon Simonson (pitcher) bump fists on the mound with teammates as they begin their final home game at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Crimson Bears honor seniors with Saturday diamond sweep over Falcons

JDHS’ Blatnick, Simonson pitch complete game wins against TMHS.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sonny Monsef (30) heads in a goal against Ketchikan during the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
JDHS boys soccer team earns ice cream and region title with sweep of visiting Ketchikan

Crimson Bears’ Monsef, Mallott seal senior night win over Kings.

Thunder Mountain High School senior Kasen Ludeman delivers against a Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé batter during the Falcons 4-0 win over the Crimson Bears on Friday at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Falcons’ Ludeman shuts out Crimson Bears

TMHS senior honors classmates in school’s baseball home finale by 3-hitting JDHS.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Kai Ciambor puts a shot past Ketchikan’s Kingston Dell (11), Alex Gilley (1) and Eunchong Lee during the Crimson Bears 4-2 win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Friday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Crimson Bears eat Kings for pre-senior night pitch feast

JDHS boys soccer team one step closer to taking region title from Ketchikan.

Most Read