KETCHIKAN (KDN) — It’s on to the Region V championship for both Ketchikan High School basketball programs.
The Kings defeated the Thunder Mountain High School Falcons 61-52 in Saturday’s Region V semifinal at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
The Lady Kings, who hold the top seed in the region, closed out their regular season with a 55-34 win over the Mt. Edgecumbe High School Lady Braves. Both team’s junior varsity squads also went head-to-head on Saturday, with the JV Lady Braves narrowly beating the JV Lady Kings 35-34.
The Lady Kings’ varsity squad now awaits the winner between Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain high schools, in the Region V semifinal on Tuesday in Juneau. Kayhi will host the winner of that game on March 20.
The Kings will host the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears on March 20, as well, as both Kayhi teams will vie for the region title.
Here are game recaps from Saturday:
Kings 61, Falcons 52
Saturday’s Region V semifinal between the Kings and Falcons was a see-saw battle the whole way through, and even though the Kings won 61-52, that nine-point lead was never comfortable until the final seconds.
Thunder Mountain senior Meki Toutaolepi outscored the Kings all by himself in the early-going, knocking in all eight of the Falcons’ first points. But that 8-0 score shrunk midway through the first quarter, as the Kings battled back. Kayhi grabbed a brief lead, but Thunder Mountain led 18-17 after one quarter.
The Kings rallied in the second quarter, carrying a 34-29 at the half. Kayhi scored 17 points in each of the first two frames.
Toutaolepi scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first half, but the Kings kept him quiet on the offensive side, after the break., as Kayhi scratched out a win.
The Kings’ Josh Gentry hit a buzzer beater to end the second quarter. Gentry led the Kings with 16 points — nine, of which, came in the first half.
On the flipside, the Kings’ Tyler Slick scored nine of his 14 points in the third quarter. Both Gentry and Slick hit 3-pointers in the third frame, and combined to drain all four of the Kings’ threes.
The Kings led 48-35 after three quarters, but the Falcons certainly weren’t through, with their season on the line.
Thunder Mountain opened the final frame with a 17-6 run, cutting the deficit to two, 54-52, and there were still three minutes left on the clock.
But the Falcons weren’t able to hit another basket the rest of the way, as a bucket from the Kings’ Josh Rhoads and free throws from JJ Parker, Clayton Olstad and Joeben Lorenzo sealed the deal in the final seconds.
Kayhi: Josh Gentry 16; Tyler Slick 14; Joeben Lorenzo 9; JJ Parker 9; Josh Rhoads 6; Zach Hanchey 4; Clayton Olstad 3.
Thunder Mountain: Meki Toutaolepi 18; Oliver Mendoza 11; Malaki Souski 9; Thomas Baxter 7; Wallace Adams 5; Isiah Nelson 2.
Lady Kings 55, Lady Braves 34
The Lady Kings finished the regular season with a 15-1 record, after completing a two-game sweep over the Lady Braves on Saturday.
Kayhi won 55-34 over Mt. Edgecumbe, after defeating the Lady Braves 46-24 on Friday.
Saturday’s regular season finale against Mt. Edgecumbe started off with the Lady Kings jumping out to an 18-10 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Lady Kings’ Shaelyn Mendoza and Bree Johnson both hit a pair of threes in the first quarter, and Jenae Rhoads knocked in a pair of buckets to help Kayhi to its early lead. All three finished in double figures, as Johnson and Rhoads scored a dozen apiece, and Mendoza knocked in 11 points.
The Lady Kings carried a 29-22 lead at the half. Johnson drained her third 3-pointer in the second quarter, as she netted four threes in the game. All 12 of her points came from behind the arc.
Mendoza also had a trio of threes, as she hit her third 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.
Kayhi’s bench accounted for 10 of the Lady Kings’ points, as Hya Bondoc and Hayley Gilson both tallied four points.
Kayhi senior Monique Clevenger, who was honored as part of senior night during a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, knocked in her first varsity points in the fourth quarter, as well. Clevenger has been a steady scorer for the JV Lady Kings’ squad this season.
Kayhi: Bree Johnson 12; Jenae Rhoads 12; Shaelyn Mendoza 11; Paige Boehlert 6; Hayley Gilson 4; Hya Bondoc 4; Lindsay Byron 4; Monique Clevenger 2.
Mt. Edgecumbe: Lisa Strom 10; Charliese O’Brien 9; Laci Prince 4; Marina Westdahl 3; Mia Anderson 2; Madison Alstrom-Beans 2; Twila Strom 2; Tessa Anderson 2.
JV Lady Braves 35, JV Lady Kings 34
The JV Lady Kings led after every quarter on Saturday, except for the fourth, and Kayhi’s junior varsity squad ultimately fell 35-34 to the JV Lady Braves.
The JV Lady Kings’ Hya Bondoc scored all six of Kayhi’s points in the first quarter, and the JV Lady Kings led 6-5 after the first eight minutes.
Bondoc finished with 10 points, knocking in all 10 in the first half. She scored four more in the second quarter, to help the JV Lady Kings to a 17-15 lead at the break.
The JV Lady Kings’ Monique Clevenger knocked in a trio of buckets in the third quarter, accounting for half of Kayhi’s dozen points in the frame.
Hayley Gilson and Ira Magno combined for the other six, and the JV Lady Kings carried a 29-22 lead after three quarters.
But the JV Lady Braves outscored Kayhi 13-5 in the final frame to edge ahead the JV Lady Kings.
Kayhi: Hya Bondoc 10; Hayley Gilson 9; Monique Clevenger 6; Elly Pickerell 4; Johanna Werth 3; Ira Magno 2.
Mt. Edgecumbe: Twila Strom 13; Genneva Kamkoff 10; Jelsey Gologergen 5; Cierra Sommer 4; Shaedyn Barr 2; Ashley Rexford 1.
*All game stats courtesy of the official scorebook.
**More in-depth coverage of the Kings’ and Lady Kings’ basketball seasons will be published in Wednesday’s edition.