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KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Momentum is on the Ketchikan High School Kings’ side.
After knocking the top-seeded East Anchorage High School Thunderbirds to the consolation bracket on Thursday, 60-58, the No. 8 seeded Ketchikan High School Kings went to work against the No. 5 seeded Soldotna High School Stars Friday evening.
The ASAA 4A state semifinal at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage had seven lead changes between the two teams. And at the final buzzer, the Kings were on top 53-48.
The win bumps the Kings to the 4A state championship against Dimond High School at 8 p.m. on Saturday. And a victory against the Lynx would give the Kings their first state championship since 1974.
Kayhi jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead against Soldotna before the Stars’ Jersey Truesdell found his groove. Truesdell helped bring the Stars within three, 13-10, by the end of the first quarter. And from there, the back-and-forth battle was afoot.
Soldotna carried a 24-23 lead at the half, and a 35-33 lead after three quarters. But Kayhi wouldn’t be denied its shot at history.
The Kings’ Kristian Pihl and Jake Taylor hit back-to-back 3-pointers to edge Kayhi ahead, 41-39. And they’d never look back.
It is the Kings’ 11th consecutive win.
Kayhi: Chris Lee, 19; Marcus Lee, 16; Kristian Pihl, 9; Jake Taylor, 6; Wyatt Barajas, 2; Cody Kemble, 1.
Soldotna: Jersey Truesdell, 30; David Michael, 5; Tyler Morrison, 4; Ray Chumley, 4; Brock Kant, 3; Zach Hanson, 2.