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By JOE JUDD
Daily News Sports Editor
The Ketchikan High School boys basketball team will get another chance to defend its home court this weekend against the Thunder Mountain High School Falcons.
Kayhi will play two games against Thunder Mountain, beginning on Friday evening at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
It will be the first Southeast conference matchup for the Kings this season.
Kayhi head coach Eric Stockhausen said on Thursday that he has enjoyed the process of coaching this year’s group of kids.
With only the duo of Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas High School left on Kayhi’s schedule, there is a lot of common ground between now and the beginning of March.
Stockhausen said that he thinks his team is prepared for what is to come.
“We’re just trying to have our survival kit ready and be able to handle anything that either of those two teams throw at us,” Stockhausen said.
As the season has progressed, Stockhausen said Kayhi has been able to quickly to the things it has faced on the court.
Progressing consistently at their own pace, the Kings of 2017-18 have an increased sense of confidence as the season reaches its final stage.
“Having them think like a coach is probably the best weapon a coach has,” Stockhausen said. “We’re not quite at the level I want, but — all things considered — it’s a great sign of growth.”
With three teams in the Southeast conference for basketball, the Kayhi-TMHS-JDHS lineup has produced a number of memorable games over the past nine years, but none of those schools has ever run the table and finished a season undefeated against their conference foes.
Parity among the three schools might play a small role in this, but Stockhausen credits it to more than that.
“Now that all three schools are roughly the same size, it becomes a little more cyclical,” Stockhausen said. “The more you play, the closer games get.”
A season ago, Kayhi had the slim upper hand on the head-to-head series with the Falcons, winning three of five games, and outscoring TMHS 415-389 in the process.
This year, Thunder Mountain comes to town with a 9-9 overall record, having just split its two games against the Crimson Bears last weekend.
On Wednesday, the Alaska School Activities Association released its second batch of winning percentage index rankings.
The Kings are now ranked eighth, after initially receiving a No. 11-ranking when the first set of rankings were made available to the public.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Kayhi’s junior varsity boys begin play at 5:30 p.m. and the C-team will start its game at 4 p.m. at the Cochrane Gym.