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By SPENCER GLEASON
Daily News Sports Editor
If Friday’s 62-55 loss to Thunder Mountain High School was a test, and an opportunity to learn, then Ketchikan High School’s 64-51 win on Saturday was the right answer.
After falling behind 7-0 to start its game on Friday, Kayhi flipped the script on Thunder Mountain Saturday night, jumping out with a 5-2 lead. And the Kings continued that trend throughout the four quarters.
“Initially, you don’t want to dig yourself a hole,” Kayhi coach Eric Stockhausen said.
Kayhi had a 32-18 lead at the half, and held the Falcons’ big three — Brady Carandang, Bryson Echiverri and Puna Toutaiolepo — to just eight points through the first two quarters.
“(They) still had double digits, but they weren’t in bunches like (Friday),” Stockhausen said. “They were harder to come by.”
Thunder Mountain’s trio combined for eight 3-pointers on Friday night, and each one of them nearly scored in every quarter.
On Saturday, they combined for half as many 3-pointers — all from Carandang — and five of Toutaiolepo’s 11 points came from the foul line, giving the senior just three baskets all game.
“We played good team defense when we needed to,” Stockhausen said. “Robert (Hilton-Seludo), Jake (Taylor) and Gavin (Salazar) came in and gave us a boost, defensively. Robert was a beast on the boards. He did well for us.”
Hilton-Seludo’s defense continued on the offensive side, as Kayhi’s 6’4” senior nearly scored double figures, tallying nine points. And as a team, the Kings’ defense carried over offensively. Kayhi scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
“We do well when we run our defensive system,” Stockhausen said. “We were more dialed in and focused.”
Kayhi’s Marcus Lee, Cody Kemble and Wyatt Barajas were all perfect from the line. The Kings nailed 16 of 19 freebies. Thunder Mountain hit 12 of 17 from the line.
Kayhi has four more games left in the regular season — two against Mt. Edgecumbe High School, and two more against Thunder Mountain, when the Falcons travel to Kayhi on Feb. 22-23.
“We know we let one go (on Friday),” Stockhausen said. “We’re running out of chances to recover from mistakes. Every game gets tighter and tighter.”
But Saturday’s rebound was exactly what the Kings needed.
“Our kids did a good job,” Stockhausen said.
Kayhi: Chris Lee, 18; Marcus Lee, 15; Robert Hilton-Seludo, 9; Cody Kemble, 7; Kristian Pihl, 6; Jake Taylor, 5; Wyatt Barajas, 4.
Thunder Mountain: Brady Carandang, 15; Puna Toutaiolepo, 11; Bryson Echiverri, 10; Meki Toutaiolepo, 8; Hansel Hinckle, 5; Braden Jenkins, 2.