No. 8 Kayhi Kings (23-8) are state champs once again after beating No. 3 Dimond 57-53 in overtime.
Junior Chris Lee dropped 28 points including a game changing three-pointer at the end of the second quarter. The Kings trailed by 15 in the second quarter but Lee’s buzzer-beater capped a 7-0 run to give Kayhi momentum.
Junior Kristian Pihl hit his first and only field goal in overtime with only 44.2 seconds remaining, putting Kayhi up 53-50.
“I told myself I had to hit this, then after it went in, the arena erupted,” said Pihl. “So many people were cheering for us over the Anchorage school of 2000, just a few miles away. I really felt the moment was ours.”
Senior Marcus Lee had 14 points and six-assists.
This is Kayhi’s seventh time winning a state title, the last time was in 1974, 45 years ago.
Both Marcus and Chris Lee are two of the ten players that were chosen for the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska all-tournament team.
The Kayhi Lady Kings went 0-2 at state. No. 8 Lady Kings competed against No. 1 Dimond Lynx in the first round. Kayhi fell to the Lady Lynx 66-43, then were placed in the consolation semifinals against No. 5 seed West Anchorage. The Lady Kings trailed 13-10 at the end of the first quarter but fell to the Lady Eagles 56-37.
The last time Kayhi has won a state tournament game was three years ago against West Valley for third place.
The Kings finished the season 14-13 and will lose three seniors from the varsity squad- Ashley Huffine, Emmie Smith, and Payton Simmons.