Ketchikan High School Kings’ head coach Eric Stockhausen knows the game of basketball can humble a person — or a team — real quick, and sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce one’s way.
But it’s about rebounding back, and responding to adversity that matters — getting back up after being knocked down.
And on Saturday, in front of a socially distanced crowd inside Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium, the Kings finished their finale against the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears by getting back up.
Losing 80-59 to Juneau-Douglas certainly didn’t feel good, especially after winning an overtime thriller, 78-70, on Friday. But finishing Saturday’s game strong was what Stockhausen saw.
The Kings outscored the Crimson Bears 24-18 in the fourth quarter, and the young Kayhi squad nearly matched the older, more experienced Juneau-Douglas team point-for-point in the second half, 42-39.
“I thought we demonstrated some toughness and character at the end, by not just giving up,” Stockhausen said. “I thought we played with the intensity we expected from the beginning.
“But you know what?” he continued, “If you get knocked down and you still get up, then you’re going to be OK. And I thought we got knocked down pretty good, and we got back up.”
The Kings fell behind early, as Juneau-Douglas went up 10-2 in the first three and a half minutes.
Kayhi gained a little traction, finishing the first quarter on a 10-7 run. Josh Rhoads and Josh Gentry both hit 3-pointers, and Clayton Olstad and Zach Hanchey both knocked in shots.
But after the first eight minutes, Juneau-Douglas carried a 17-12 lead, and the Kings could only muster eight points in the second quarter, falling behind 38-20 at the half.
It seemed like almost every shot Kayhi took, the ball would bounce out. Only two shots fell for the Kings in the second quarter — a pair of threes.
Rhoads hit his second 3-pointer of the game, and Tyler Slick also knocked in a long ball. Kylar Charles sunk a couple free throws to give the Kings eight tallies in the frame.
“We scored 20 points in the first half,” Stockhausen said. “It was (influencing) everything. It affected how we blocked out, how we rebounded, how we ran down the floor. And when you’re not focused on what you should be doing, you do things just to do them, and now you’re not going to be successful against (a senior-heavy roster).”
Juneau-Douglas senior Cooper Kriegmont led all scorers with 17 points, but Kayhi held him to just five in the first half. He scored his other dozen once the game started to get out of reach, as the Crimson Bears had a 62-35 lead after three quarters.
Kayhi’s Clayton Olstad hit 12 of his team-high 14 points after the break, and Hanchey knocked in eight of his 10 in the last two quarters.
“At different times, you see different guys — you could see Kylar (Charles) competing, Zach (Hanchey) competing, JJ (Parker), toward the end, competing, Joeben (Lorenzo) competing,” Stockhausen said. “And I could name all of our guys because we all showed a spark. Now, for us to be successful, we all have to be firing at the same time.”
There were glimpses of that.
The Kings went on a 14-3 run for two minutes, 14 seconds in the fourth quarter, in which Charles, Hanchey, Rhoads, Olstad, Lorenzo and Archie Dundas all scored.
But that only brought the Kings within 19 points of Juneau-Douglas, 73-54.
“We’re making mid-January mistakes in game seven and eight,” Stockhausen said. “In a regular year, that’s early January, mid-January. ... The difference here, is we’re going to have to do all of our correction in the heat of competition.”
The Kings are certainly capable of adjusting within a game. They had a turnaround between the two halves on Saturday.
Kayhi had to adjust in Friday’s win, too.
The Kings led Juneau-Douglas 48-42 after three quarters on Friday, but the Crimson Bears rallied back to take a 57-54 lead with 1:55 left.
Rhoads hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in Friday’s game, tying the game at 59 apiece, and the Kings eventually won 78-70 after one four-minute overtime.
“We were fortunate to win an overtime game yesterday, and today was a completely different game, like they always are,” Stockhausen said. “We played a (game against) Thunder Mountain (High School in Juneau earlier this year), and the first game was a two-point loss, and the next day was a 28-point win. That’s Southeast basketball.”
Kayhi: Clayton Olstad 14; Zach Hanchey 10; Tyler Slick 9; Josh Rhoads 8; Kylar Charles 7; JJ Parker 3; Josh Gentry 3; Archie Dundas 3; Joeben Lorenzo 2.
Juneau-Douglas: Cooper Kriegmont 17; Garrett Bryant 15; Malakai Nichols 10; Porter Nelson 9; Sean Oliver 8; Lope Elizarde 7; Raekwon Razor 5; Kai Hargrave 5; Alwen Carrillo 2; Marcos Yadao 2.
*Names and stats courtesy of the official scorebook.
Full week ahead
The Kings will hit the ground running this week.
After practice on Monday, the Kings will travel to Sitka on Tuesday, for a four-game trip against Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka high schools.
The Kings will battle the Sitka Wolves on Wednesday and Thursday, before jumping across the bridge to face the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves on Friday and Saturday.
The Kings will travel back home on Sunday, and host Mt. Edgecumbe on March 8-9, followed by a two-game stint against Thunder Mountain High School on March 10-11.
They’ll have one day of practice on March 12, before hosting Thunder Mountain again, on March 13.
In total, over the next two weeks, the Kings will run 1,440 game minutes on their legs.
“They’re in it for the long haul and so am I, and we’ll be OK,” Stockhausen said. “I’m not too worried about it. I’ve got great kids.”