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By ALEX BOSWORTH
Daily News Staff Writer
The Thunder Mountain boys basketball team continues to stay hot.
The Falcons used a 25-point third quarter to break open a close game with Ketchikan and ultimately take a 79-67 Southeast Conference victory on Saturday at Thunder Mountain.
Thunder Mountain swept the series with Ketchikan and has now won 10 games in a row according to the Alaska School Activities Association’s Winning Percentage Index schedule and results on the team’s website. Ketchikan had a six-game winning streak snapped on Friday and fell to 12-5 on the year.
Thunder Mountain shot well throughout the game but Kayhi generated a number of turnovers in the first half — Ketchikan head coach Eric Stockhausen pegged the number at 11 — to pace itself to leads of 17-12 after the first quarter and 31-28 at halftime.
Then came the third quarter.
After Kayhi senior Jake Smith converted a four-point play by hitting a 3-pointer, getting fouled, and making the free throw to put Kayhi up 35-31, it was almost all Thunder Mountain. The Falcons outscored Ketchikan 25-11 to take control of the game. Thunder Mountain senior guard Chase Saviers — who stayed hot throughout the game — scored multiple times in the quarter and so did senior forward Riley Olsen, as the Falcons took better care of the ball while continuing to shoot a high percentage.
Stockhausen said Saviers finished with 31 points after Ketchikan held him to 12 points on Friday.
“He got four of his 3s off of an out of bounds play,” Stockhausen said. “Our young guys have to learn that they have to check for patterns in the game. (It’s) the same inbounds play and there were a couple different guys guarding that position and he, four times, he hit a 3. It hurts. It’s worth 3 points on the scoreboard but it does a lot of ... for lack of a better phrase, it’s a stinger. Kind of a let-down when they run the same thing over and over and we don’t adjust. ... It’s a learning process for sure.”
Thunder Mountain led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter before Ketchikan trimmed into the lead for the final margin.
Marcus Lee led Kayhi with 19 points. Chris Lee added 15 points and Smith and Brent Taylor each chipped in 14 points in the loss.
“We have great chemistry and great kids so I think it’s just gonna help us,” Stockhausen said of his team, which is ranked No. 4 in the state in the most recent WPI standings. “We definitely won’t have a false sense of security about where we stand.”
“We’re gonna hold our heads up and get back to work on Monday,” he added.
Kayhi defeated Thunder Mountain earlier in the season, 74-63, in December. Stockhausen said the Falcons, who are ranked No. 6 in the most recent WPI standings, ran a 2-3 zone in December but switched to a version of man-to-man defense over the weekend.
Ketchikan will play an endowment game against Petersburg on Thursday before playing Juneau-Douglas Friday and Saturday in Juneau.
Stockhausen said his team should use the press to pick up the pace of the game, not necessarily force turnovers, now that the regular season is well underway.
“Every team we play from here on out, pressing is not effective,” he said. “We were doing it for a pace tool. We had so much success stealing the ball early in the season I think we’re still trying to get steals versus focus on, it’s a pace mechanism versus an offensive-generating defense. Early in the season you generate a lot of offense off the press and as we’re in the last quarter of the season we just have to recognize that by now everybody is pretty well accustomed to handling presses.”
Kayhi: Marcus Lee 19, Chris Lee 15, Jake Smith 14, Shakim Bauer 5, Brent Taylor 14.