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SITKA (KDN) — The Ketchikan High School Kings were crowned Region V 4A champions on Friday, but it didn't come easy.
After erasing an early 7-3 deficit at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, the Kings finished the first quarter with a 19-13 lead over Juneau-Douglas High School. And Kayhi eventually won the region title 66-60.
The Kings' Kristian Pihl lit up the scoreboard, knocking in a pair of threes in the first quarter. And Kayhi's sharpshooter finished the game with five 3-pointers, and a team-high 20 points.
Both teams scored 23 points in the second quarter, but Juneau-Douglas mounted a comeback, finishing the half on an 11-3 run. Despite the scoring spree by the Crimson Bears, Kayhi carried a 42-36 lead at the break.
The Kings rallied back in the second half with the help of free throws.
As a team, the Kings were 17-for-23 from the line. And they were successful 75 percent of the time in the second half.
The freebies edged Kayhi ahead, sending the Kings the state tournament in Anchorage later this month.
Notes: The scoreboard read 65-60 in favor of the Kings, at the final buzzer. But after official tallies had been counted, tournament administrators determined that a Kings' free throw wasn't tallied on the board and gave Kayhi a 66-60 championship victory.
Ketchikan: Kristian Pihl, 20; Chris Lee, 15; Marcus Lee, 11; Jake Taylor, 6; Cody Kemble, 4; Kyle Smith, 3; Wyatt Barajas, 3; Robert Hilton-Seludo, 2; Gavin Salazar, 2.
Juneau-Douglas: Philip Gonzales, 21; Cooper Kriegmont, 14; Krishant Samtani, 12; Israel Yadao, 4; Brock McCormick, 4; Tristan Bryant, 4; Garrett Bryant, 1.