Falcons Boys Outshoot Nome

    The Thunder Mountain boys basketball team went beat Palmer 57-54, lost to West Valley 41-31 and defeated Nome 81-75 at the Palmer Elks Showdown.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team finished their stint in the Palmer Elks Showdown Tournament on Saturday outshooting the Nome Nanooks 81-75.

      “Definitely a lot different from our games recently,” TMHS assistant coach Matt Seymour said. Seymour was filling in for head coach John Blasco. “I was pleased that we could put up some points but at the same time our defensive effort was not quite there tonight. Definitely a more up-tempo game than we were used to. But I was telling them to push the pace a little bit.”

      The Falcons boys were buoyed by 16 first half points from sophomore Thomas Baxter and 16 second half points from sophomore Sam Lockhart. Lockhart finished with 26 points and Baxter 24. Nome’s Finn Gregg led all scorers with 34 points.

      “We learned this trip that switching defenses is probably better for us,” Seymour said. “Staying in for one defense in a long stretch kind of gets people comfortable, and it makes us feel comfortable on the defensive end, too. Switching it up, making sure guys stay involved defensively is really the biggest thing we learned. And getting rotations in. I thought we just needed to put a little bit more effort. Nome is a good team. They run their offense well but I thought we could have disrupted them a little bit more than we did.”

      The Falcons opened the game in a full court press and took a 23-17 first quarter lead as Baxter hit for 11, senior Wallace Adams four inside, sophomore Owen Adams a deep three, Lockhart three and sophomore James Polasky a basket inside.

      Nome found the deep ball in the second quarter, hitting four shots from past the three point line and outscoring the Falcons 17-12 to trail 35-34 at the half.

      Five Falcons found the basket in the third quarter with Lockhart and Baxter hitting deep and O. Adams, Polasky and junior MJ Tupou hitting from the field. Thunder Mountain held a 55-46 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

      The Falcons hit 14-15 free throws in the fourth quarter and were 18-20 for the game. Nome was 9-14.

      Thunder Mountain’s Tupou added nine points for the game, senior Matthew Hartstock seven, O. Adams five, senior Wallace Adams and Polasky four apiece and sophomore Lance Nierra two.

      Following Gregg’s 34 points, Nome saw Richard Cross score 18, Jade Greene 14, Haylen O’Connor six and Ethan Hannon four.

      “Offensively we did good things I think,” Seymour said. “Aside from some turnovers. I think we had 18-20 for the game. It was pretty miserable at the start but then we settled down and took pretty good taking care of the ball in the second half.”

      Seymour said they scouted the Nome shooters during the tournament and knew the Nanooks liked to put the ball up.

      “We knew that coming in,” he said. “We just didn’t really get to our shooters. We kind of invited them to shoot threes in our zone but it wasn’t necessarily what we wanted to do.”

    “I was happy to get more rotations in this time around,” Seymour said. “I think everybody really contributed to the win. I got really good minutes from Hartstock coming off the bench. He was big tonight. James (Polasky) was big tonight, he had some good looks but just got unlucky on some of them. He is stepping up on the rebounding side as well. MJ (Tupou) is really starting to step up for us. It is nice to see that as we need a couple of other scorers to help with Sam (Lockhart) and Thomas (Baxter) when they are not hitting all of their shots. Matthew Johns played well, good defensive effort. Good production from everyone. We need to rebound a little bit better out of our zone. We just have to make it a team effort, box them out and make sure we are not giving up at least double-digit offensive rebounds in a quarter which we did.”

      The Falcons boys also defeated Palmer 57-54 on Thursday and lost to West Valley 41-31 on Friday. Thunder Mountain has an overall record of 3-5 and are 0-2 in the Southeast Conference. The Falcons will play in the Barrow Whaler Invitational Thursday-Saturday.

      The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys were off this weekend. The Crimson Bears (3-4 OA) are set to play in the Alaska Airlines Classic at West Anchorage Thursday-Saturday.


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