After playing teams from California and Arizona in the first two days of the Alaska Airlines Classic, the Ketchikan boys basketball team squared off against a more familiar foe Saturday.
The Kings and Metlakatla Chiefs, who played a two-game series in Ketchikan just a week earlier, met in the seventh-place game of the Anchorage tournament with the Kings rolling to a comfortable 70-53 win over their Southeast neighbors.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Ketchikan built a 10-point halftime lead and led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter before winning by 17. The Kings shot 54.5 percent from the field in a free-flowing contest. Kayhi was 21 of 28 from inside the arc, and hit 9 of 27 from 3-point range.
“It’s nice when the ball goes in,” Ketchikan coach Eric Stockhausen said. “I think we learned some things in this tournament, and we are ready to start focusing on regional competition. That’s what we’ve been building for, and I think we are feeling a little better.”
The Kings opened tournament play with a 66-17 loss to a talented Heritage Christian team from suburban Los Angeles before coming up just short against Higley (Arizona) 63-60 on Friday. On Saturday they faced a Metlakatla team that they had beaten by scores of 63-48 and 56-41 on Jan. 13-14 in Ketchikan. Although the final scores of all three games were similar, the way they arrived at the final margin was increasing more comfortable for Ketchikan. The Kings needed a late 15-2 run to win the opener, and then led by at least six points and generally by double digits en route to winning the second game. In their third meeting, the Kings scored the first eight points of the second half to build an 18-point lead and led by at least 13 points throughout the second half.
Ketchikan senior guard JJ Parker finished off a strong tournament by putting on a show in the first half, scoring half of the Kings points as they built a 38-28 advantage. Parker finished with a game-high 25 points on 12 of 20 shooting from the field. He was only 1 of 6 from 3-point range, but a blistering 11 of 14 from inside the arc. The 5-8 guard consistently drove the lane and made quick little adjustments to find room to score against much taller defenders in the paint. Parker also had five steals and three assists in the win.
“JJ was kind of able to get free,” Stockhausen said. “He’s shifty.”
After Andrew Kleinschmidt drained a 3-pointer for the first bucket of the game for Ketchikan, Parker scored the Kings final 13 points of the first quarter, including a late 3-pointer that knotted the score at 16.
The game was tied at 19 after a 3-pointer by Metlakatla’s Mason Rolando, but then Ketchikan went on a 13-0 run and never looked back.
Parker started the decisive run with a baseline drive for a bucket, Marcus Stockhausen drained a 3-pointer, and senior guard Jack Zink hit back-to-back 3-pointers from opposite corners or the court. Kleinschmidt finished off the run with a layup after a steal by Zink, putting Kayhi up 32-19.
Zink finished off a strong second quarter with a bucket in the lane to give Kayhi a 38-28 lead at the break.
The Kings then pounced immediately after the intermission to pretty much put the game out of reach.
A pair of 3-pointers by Marcus Stockhausen bookended a nice cut down the lane by Parker, who had Kleinschmidt find him for a layup. The 8-0 run gave Ketchikan a 46-28 lead. Another 7-0 run later in the quarter put the Kings up 59-39. That run featured a 3-pointer by Kleinschmidt and a runout where it looked like he was going to attempt a dunk before he awkwardly finished with a layup.
Kleinschmidt scored 16 points. Zink had eight points. Marcus Stockhausen finished with nine points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal, and two blocked shots. Archie Dundas tied for the team-high in rebounds with five.
Zink started to carve out more minutes on the court during the Classic.
“Zink, he’s earned every minute of it,” coach Stockhausen said. “He’s a spark. He is a great kid, got a great attitude and works hard. Andrew had a rough one yesterday (against Higley), but he got himself going today, and Archie was aggressively rebounding.”
Metlakatla suffered its fifth straight loss, all against much bigger schools. The Chiefs lost 63-37 to Grace Christian on Thursday before falling 56-51 to Ronan (Montana) on Friday. Metlakatla had an early 15-point lead in that game before Ronan rallied for the win.
On Saturday, senior Cameron Gaube scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists to lead the Chiefs. Mason Rolando, Jayden Buhler, TJ Jackson and Harvey Booth each scored six points.
The Chiefs shot 9 of 20 from 3-point range.
Only 11 fouls were called in the game, none in the first quarter. Metlakatla was 2 of 6 from the foul line and Ketchikan was 1 for 3.
The Alaska Airlines Classic was played with a 35-second shot clock, but the clock never came into play on Saturday, and was rarely needed throughout the tournament as most of the teams played at a fast pace.