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By JOE JUDD
Daily News Sports Editor
The Ketchikan High School boys basketball team was bested by Thunder Mountain High School 77-67 in a Southeast conference game on Saturday night at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
Ranked eighth in the winning percentage index, the Kings suffered their first loss at home in over a month, after successfully defending their home court a weekend ago.
“It seemed like there were quite a bit of easy baskets for Thunder Mountain this weekend,” Kayhi head coach Eric Stockhausen said after the game. “If we want to be successful, that’s going to have to be a little tougher.”
One day removed from a comeback victory that was truly four quarters in the making, Kayhi faced similar issues to begin the action on Saturday, as the Kings allowed the Falcons to jump out to a 22-3 lead after the first quarter.
A put-back layup by junior Cody Kemble scored in the first two minutes of the game was the lone field goal for Kayhi through eight minutes of play.
In that same span of time, Thunder Mountain made a trio of 3-pointers, while showing accuracy from within the arc.
The 3-point shot quickly became the Falcons’ weapon of choice for the evening, as Thunder Mountain would go on to make four more before the game was over.
With the tall task of digging out of a 19-point rut in front of them, the Kings responded with a more up-tempo style of play, which helped them cut into the deficit before the half came to a close.
Even with the improved offense, Kayhi still trailed Thunder Mountain by a margin of 37-23 at halftime.
In the second half, the Kings managed to cut the Falcon lead to single digits by the final minute of the third quarter, thanks in large part to junior Marcus Lee’s ability to draw contact and sink his shots from the free-throw line.
Lee finished with 38 points, and made 10 of his 12 foul shots, which made up over half of Kayhi’s free-throw scoring on the night, before eventually being fouled out in the final minute and a half of regulation.
Lee’s brother, sophomore Chris Lee, also had to ride the bench for the final minute-plus, as he also fouled out in the late stages of competition with 14 points.
In similar fashion to Friday’s contest, the final eight minutes on Saturday were a showcase of the best that both teams had to offer, only to have Thunder Mountain come out on top in the end.
In the game’s final minutes, Kayhi did not hold anything back and got within just a couple of points of their Southeast foes, but a win for the Kings was not in the cards on this night.
The Kings will remain at home for their next set of games, which are set to take place next weekend against the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears.
It will be the first meeting between the rivals this season.
Kayhi: Marcus Lee 38, Chris Lee 14, Jake Taylor 5, Kyle Smith 5, Kristian Pihl 3, Cody Kemble 2.
Thunder Mountain: Vaipuna Tautaiolepo 18, Luke Clark 16, Josh McAndrews 12, Owen Mendoza 10, Roy Tupou 6, Bryson Echiverri 5, Brady Carandang 4, Bobby Cox 4, Steven Rosales 2.