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By JOE JUDD
Daily News Sports Editor
Playing in its second game of the weekend against the Mount Edgecumbe High School Braves, the Ketchikan High School basketball team earned its fourth consecutive victory in a 53-37 result on Saturday night at the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
With the weekend sweep of the Braves, the Kings now have a total of five wins at home thus far this season, which also includes tournament play.
Saturday’s game — although it had a different look and feel when compared to Friday night’s contest — ultimately ended in a way that warranted Kayhi head coach Eric Stockhausen’s approval.
“I thought it was another step in the right direction for our kids,” Stockhausen said after the game. “It was definitely a different game from the beginning. Mount Edgecumbe teams are always going to come out and play as hard as humanly possible.”
The Kings did not score their first points until nearly three minutes of play had passed, and trailed by two points after one quarter.
After the slow start, Kayhi used its quickness to gain a lead and run with it as the first half wound down, though Mount Edgecumbe stood toe-to-toe with Kayhi for another 32 minutes of basketball.
Kayhi led Mount Edgecumbe 28-23 at halftime.
For the second night in-a-row, Kayhi put most of its chips offensively on 3-pointers and scoring in transition and on the fast break, especially in the second 16 minutes.
Kayhi opened the third quarter on a scoring run and had Mount Edgecumbe trailing by double digits by the end of the frame, as the Kings slowly began to assert their will and take over the game.
“We have to be able to win games when we’re not shooting well, and we do that on the defensive end,” Stockhausen said. “The key will be getting stops on the defensive end, not giving up easy baskets, and finding a way to get easy baskets.”
Stockhausen said he thought his team was more attentive in the second half.
Junior and leading-scorer Marcus Lee was the catalyst in a majority of Kayhi’s points in the fast break. For the second consecutive night, Lee used his speed to drive the lane, or find a teammate for a wide-open shot around the perimeter.
Lee ended up with 21 points in total.
Sophomore Chris Lee finished with seven points, made a pair of free-throws and was omnipresent grabbing offensive and defensive rebounds for Kayhi.
Even though the shots did not fall with as much regularity as they did the night before, Kayhi’s defense held strong and continued to force the Braves to make difficult decisions with the ball on the other end.
This resulted in forced turnovers and relatively easier chances for two or three points for the Kings.
Sophomore Kristian Pihl continued his strong shooting from long range, sinking three 3-pointers for nine points in the winning effort.
As a team, the Kings were sent to the free-throw line 16 times and converted on 11 of those chances.
“It was good for us to get a lot of people in the scorebook and (to get) a lot of kids some minutes,” Stockhausen said. “We’re taking steps to get better on a daily basis, and I think we’ve done that quite well for a few weeks.”
The Kings have won eight of their previous 10 games.
Kayhi will next play in a Southeast conference game at home against Thunder Mountain High School at 7:15 p.m. on Friday.
The remainder of Kayhi’s games this season will either be at home or in Juneau against fellow Southeast conference opponents.
Kayhi: Marcus Lee 21, Kristian Pihl 9, Chris Lee 7, Jake Taylor 5, Kyle Smith 5, Cody Kemble 5, Gavin Salazar 1.
Mount Edgecumbe: Emmett Dunaway 13, Bear Brown 9, Al Samuelson 8, Jonathan Constantine 4, Isaiah Redford 3.
Kayhi JV 62, Mount Edgecumbe JV 45
Kayhi’s junior varsity team took down the JV Braves by a final margin of 62-45 on Saturday evening.
The JV Kings found themselves down in the first quarter, trailing by 12 midway through the opening eight minutes, only to trim the deficit down to three points by the end of the frame.
After regaining the lost ground late in the first, 3-pointers and tough defense helped the Kings obtain a four-point lead going into halftime.
During the second half of play, with the outcome far from decided, both teams stepped up their level of play and matched each other on both ends of the ball.
With the score tied a 38 points apiece after three quarters, Kayhi took charge midway through the final quarter, eventually grabbing a 15-plus point lead in the final couple of minutes.
Kayhi: Chris Smith 23, Gavin Salazar 14, ER Caparas 13, James Nordlund 7, Besjean Kamberi 3, Patrick Garcia 2.
Mount Edgecumbe: Jeffrey Adams 17, Jonathan Constantine 12, David Dock 11, Isaiah Kline 3, Jarvis Evans 2.
Mount Edgecumbe C 60, Kayhi C 37
Kayhi: Josh Gentry 7, Arthur Williams 6, Besjean Kamberi 5, Kylar Charles 5, Seth James 4, Tyler Slick 4, Patrick Garcia 4, Hunter Matthews 2.
Mount Edgecumbe: Ethan Ivan 16, Frederick Myers 7, Sean Osborn 6, David Dock 5, Kavik Hoffman 5, Vladimir Bourdvkofsky 5, Martin Brown 4, Ayden Alstrom-Beans 4, RJ Alstrom-Beans 4, Keith Jones 3, Benjamin Melovidon 1.