SULLIVAN TWP. — Sometimes when it rains, it pours.
That’s the feeling first-year Black River boys basketball coach Cynthia Berry had after her team feel to Keystone 73-35 Tuesday in Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division action.
It came in the form of Wildcats reserve swingman Matt Bastock. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder drained six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 28 points to help Keystone improve to 4-5, 3-3 and hand the Pirates (0-9, 0-6) their 29th consecutive loss.
“I was like, ‘Where did this kid come from?’” Berry said of Bastock’s breakout night. “It’s a prime example that they’re all young men playing for the same thing. If you can get anyone in a zone like that, it will bring the best out of anybody.”
Bastock scored nine points in the first half, including two trifectas that stopped a pair of Black River charges, and then helped put the game on ice as he went on a personal 13-0 run to open the fourth quarter.
Not too shabby for a player that was averaging 8.7 points coming in.
“I knew I was due because I’ve had a couple of bad shooting nights,” said Bastock, who finished 9-of-13 from the field and 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. “My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball.”
But did he expect to score 13 straight points in the midst of a 27-0 run that started late in the third period?
“I didn’t know I had that many,” Bastock said with a laugh. “Everything was going in. It was awesome. It really is. … I was just shooting it when I got it. It didn’t really matter what defense they were in.”
Bastock’s effort was contagious, as Keystone also got double-figure scoring nights from Brandon Kuhl (11 points, 9 rebounds) and Chase Robinson (10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) as it led by no less than 11 points in the second half and had 10 of its 11 players record at least a point.
But it was the lanky Bastock who helped blow the game open.
“This was something we’ve been waiting for him to do,” Wildcats coach Jeff Holzhauer said. “Matt finally started to shoot the ball. … When he’s confident and when he’s shooting, he can shoot as well as anybody.”
Early on, Black River carried all the momentum.
The Pirates came out of the gate on a 9-3 run paced by five points from junior guard Stephen Zumack, who finished with 10 points, five rebounds and a game-high five blocks.
Keystone chipped away at the advantage slowly before taking a 10-9 lead into the second quarter and extending the lead to 10 by the half.
It was the kind of start that gives Berry confidence happier days are ahead.
“I saw tonight what we can do and I know what’s inside of them,” she said. “It’s a journey and we’re farther along on that journey than we were before.
“We came out in the second half and fatigue was a factor, but we have to get used to playing harder, longer.”
Pirates junior forward Tyler Potter chipped in nine points and ripped down a team-high seven boards, while sophomore point guard Anton Hsia had five points and two assists.
The Black River junior varsity fell to Keystone 50-31. Freshman guard Allan Benson had 10 points to lead the Pirates.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.