KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Both the Ketchikan High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have a shot at the Region V championship on Saturday, as the Kings and Lady Kings will host a pair of teams from the capital city at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium.
Win, and Kayhi advances to the state tournament, set to begin on March 25 in the MatSu School District. Lose, and Kayhi’s season is over.
After defeating the Thunder Mountain High School Falcons 61-52 in the region semifinal on March 13, the Kings (13-4) will square off against the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears (15-1) at 4:30 p.m.
The Kings enter the Region V championship having won 12 of their last 13 games, but their last loss was against the Crimson Bears on Feb. 27 — a lopsided 80-59 final.
The Kings split that series, having won the night before, Feb. 26, in an overtime thriller, 78-70. That victory is the Crimson Bears’ lone loss this season.
Likewise, the Lady Kings (15-1) will vie for their Region V title as they will go head-to-head against the Thunder Mountain Lady Falcons, starting the action at 2:45 p.m.
The Lady Falcons enter Saturday’s championship game after beating the Lady Crimson Bears 46-41 in double overtime on Tuesday in Juneau.
Thunder Mountain is 1-3 against the Lady Kings this season. The Lady Falcons beat Kayhi 38-34 on Jan. 23, shortly after the abbreviated basketball season began. It’s the only loss the Lady Kings have suffered this season.
The two teams battled back and forth on March 10 and March 11, in a two-game series at Kayhi. The Lady Kings won the pair of games — 60-55 on March 10 and 52-49 on March 11 — but the two teams were neck-and-neck the entire time.
Games to be broadcast
Only an extremely limited few will be allowed to enter the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium for the Region V championship games on Saturday. Each basketball team is allowed 24 spectators.
For those individuals outside of Kayhi, both title games will be broadcast on KTKN radio, and will be livestreamed at kgbsd.org/live.
Tipoff time for the girls’ championship is 2:45 p.m. The boys’ will tipoff at 4:30 p.m.
State tournament allowed
The state tournament will be double-elimination, and run from March 25 to March 27. Palmer, Wasilla and Colony high schools, as well as Palmer Middle School, will host games. According to Ketchikan High School, an addendum was added to the travel mitigation plan, allowing teams to travel to higher risk communities for the novel coronavirus for culminating events, such as a state tournament.
It will be the first basketball state tournament since March 2019, when the Kayhi Kings won their first state title in 45 years. Last season’s state tournament was canceled because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.