'A brand new team': Lady Falcons reflect on big win

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain High School girls basketball is celebrating a breakthrough win over Ketchikan over the weekend.

    The Thunder Mountain girls basketball team remained positive in the wake of a hard-fought conference loss on Saturday night at TMHS.

    One night earlier, the Falcons picked up their first win in five seasons against Ketchikan, a come-from-behind 48-44 victory that lessened the letdown of Saturday's 45-38 loss.

    TMHS seniors Kira Frommherz and Tasi Fenumiai said Friday's win was rewarding on many levels.

    "It felt amazing," Frommherz said. "The support from our fanbase and the parents that get involved really helped ... Going into the game, I knew about the win streak but it wasn't affecting me and after the game when everybody was saying what happened, I was like, 'Oh, I kind of forgot about that.'"

    Fenumiai added: "I think that it sets a new tone for the upcoming seniors and juniors and sophomores and freshmen who want to play (for TMHS). It sets a new tone like we're not the team we were last year or the year before that. We're a brand new team."

    TMHS is now 9-13 overall and 1-5 in the conference; Kayhi is 12-9 overall and 3-3 in the conference. Both teams have two more conference games left. Ketchikan hosts Juneau-Douglas High School this weekend (Feb. 28-29) and TMHS hosts JDHS March 6 and 7. The Region V Tournament is March 10-14 at JDHS.

    JDHS is in first place in the Southeast conference with a 4-0 record.

    Avery Kreischer scored 19 points, Riley Traxler scored eight points and Fenumiai added seven points in Friday's victory.

    Sophomore Shaelynn Medoza was the high scorer for the visitors, scoring a career-high 24 points. Six Lady Kings finished the game in single digits.

    The Falcons' win came down to the wire with junior Neal Garcia making two crucial free throws in the final seconds. Lee said the Falcons sustained effort through all four quarters is a key ingredient for closing out games.

    "We've had enthusiasm; that didn't help us win and then we started to execute and that made for close games," Lee said. "Now we have the experience of having played close games and now we know what it takes to win."

    The Falcons' 15-4 run to start the fourth quarter made it 45-35 with about two minutes left. Neal Garcia's 3-pointer kicked off the scoring spree, which also included free throws by Kreischer and Fenumiai. Kreischer used her quickness to secure key rebounds. Lee said he relied on his guards like Kreischer to come up with rebounds late in the game.

    "At the end, it was critical to have three or four ballhandlers on the floor against their (defensive) pressure," Lee said.

    The Falcons shot 17 foul shots in the fourth quarter -- over half the game total -- making Ketchikan pay for going over the foul limit. Thunder Mountain was sent to the free-throw line for all fouls over the final 5:30 when the Lady Kings went over six fouls.

    Kreischer left the game in the fourth after colliding with a Ketchikan player. She did not play in Saturday's game, but Lee expects her back soon. Fenumiai also finished the weekend a bit shaken up.

    "It's all about toughness on the team, it's all about mentality, and getting focused and getting prepared and supporting one another," Frommherz said. 

     

    TMHS hosts Kodiak this weekend. The Lady Falcons play at 8 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday. The TMHS boys host Wasilla at 6:15 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.

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