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By SPENCER GLEASON
Daily News Sports Editor
Before Ketchikan High School traveled to Thunder Mountain High School for a pair of games this weekend, Kayhi coach Eric Stockhausen knew his Kings would be in for a battle.
The Falcons’ trio of scorers — Brady Carandang, Bryson Echiverri and Puna Toutaiolepo — had wreaked havoc on Kayhi in the past. And they were capable of doing it again.
And unfortunately for the Kings, that’s exactly what happened on Friday night.
Carandang, Echiverri and Toutaiolepo all scored double digits for Thunder Mountain, and accounted for 32 of the Falcons’ 36 second-half points. And Thunder Mountain beat Kayhi 62-55.
“It was an extremely physical game,” Stockhausen said. “I thought we put forth a lot of effort. We were just a step slow tonight.
“You got to give a lot of credit to Thunder Mounatin,” he continued. “They hit a lot of shots tonight.”
The Falcons opened the game with a 7-0 lead. But the Kings rallied back, finishing the first quarter on a 12-6 run.
Kayhi’s Kristian Pihl opened the second quarter with his first-of-three 3-pointers, and gave the Kings a 15-13 lead. The two teams continued the see-saw battle the rest of the first half, before Cody Kemble hit a buzzer beater to give Kayhi a 28-26 lead at the break.
Thunder Mountain would hit seven 3-pointers in the second half, including four in the fourth quarter, and that was enough to edge out the win.
“We had a break away, and missed a layup at the end of the third quarter,” Stockhausen said. “And we missed about five or six put-backs that would’ve tied or given us the lead.
“It’s not one person or one thing,” he continued. “But you have to play well. And, for us, it comes down to how we play defense. Because when we play (well on) defense, the offense takes care of itself.”
Friday’s loss marks the fourth time this season the Kings have fallen on travel-and-play days. Kayhi is 0-4 when they play on the first day of a road trip.
“These situations are good things to learn from,” Stockhausen said. “It’s just — unfortunately, we’ve had to learn this lesson more than once.
“My pastor has a saying,” he continued. “‘Frustration comes from unmet expectations.’ We’ll figure out a way.”
Stockhausen’s squad will have another shot at the Falcons on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
“I still love my kids,” he said. “It’s one game, and we’ll see if we can get on the right path tomorrow.”
Kayhi: Marcus Lee, 21; Chris Lee, 14; Kristian Pihl, 11; Wyatt Barajas, 3; Cody Kemble, 2; Kyle Smith, 2; Jake Taylor, 2.
Thunder Mountain: Brady Carandang, 17; Bryson Echiverri, 16; Puna Toutaiolepo, 13; Meki Toutaiolepo, 10. Oliver Mendoza, 3; Braden Jenkins, 3.