Thunder Mountain Girls Run Past Eagle River Wolves

    Thunder Mountain's Cailynn Baxter (23) scores over Eagle River's Brooklyn Rollman during the opening game of the Princess Tours Capital City Classic at Juneau-Douglas High School. (Klas Stolpe)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain Falcons girls basketball team opened the 2021 Princess Tours Capital City Classic in strong fashion, posting a 48-16 win over the Eagle River Wolves on Monday at the Juneau-Douglas Kalé gym.

      “We showed some promise that we had hoped to get from the prior tournament,” TMHS coach Andy Lee said. “Finally having had some experience in a game. We had a little adversity, we are missing some players, we faced some adversity and we overcame it.”

      Despite three rebounds and a blocked shot in the first three minutes of action by Eagle River sophomore forward Brooklyn Rollman that gave the Wolves a 6-3 advantage, the Falcons were persistent with a full court press that resulted in 13-0 run to close out the first quarter for a 16-6 advantage.

      “We only have six players,” Eagle River coach Candice Love said. “So I like how scrappy they are being and working together as a team. I think that shows a lot about their character and what they are going to do for the team and the pride they take in that.”

      The Wolves were missing two starters so Rollman stepped up beyond her years.

      “She’s only a sophomore,” coach Love said. “She’s definitely a big work in process and a big part of our offense and defense with just keeping people out of the paint. She’s strong and not a lot of people can move her around, so it’s great.”

    Thunder Mountain’s pressure defense held Eagle River scoreless in the second period and the Falcons went into the half up 29-6 as Falcons’ forward Cailynn Baxter found range from outside and Kerra Baxter helped defend on the interior.

    Rollman added two blocked shots and a basket to open the third quarter of play for the Wolves and it took three minutes before the Falcons’ Kiara Kookesh hit a jumper.

      “She’s an all-state level player eventually for them,” Falcons coach Lee said of Rollman. “We focused on making sure her life was miserable and then she had to leave the post because we did a good job from the perimeter. I thought we handled that well.”

      Eagle River went to a zone defense and Thunder Mountain was patient on offense with the third quarter ending with the Falcons up 36-10.

      Thunder Mountain continued to hold court pressure and had steals by Kookesh and Kaidree Hartman to open fourth quarter action as the Falcons took the win.

      Cailynn Baxter led the Falcons with 20 points, Kookesh added nine, Kerra Baxter five, Jo Pasion and Hartman three apiece, Ashlyn Gates, Jenna Dobson and Sydney Strong two each, and Grace Sikes and Breanna Fakes one apiece.

      Eagle River was led by six points from Brooklyn Rollman, Kaylee Chavez added five, Joselyn Gonzalez three and Natalie Hopkins two.

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