SULLIVAN TWP. — Motivation can come in many forms.
In the Keystone boys basketball team’s Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division game against Black River, the Wildcats used their first matchup against the Pirates as incentive to pull off an 81-24 rout.
Specifically, Keystone (15-5, 13-2) used the first quarter for that little extra oomph. Trailing 13-11 after the first period in a Jan. 21 matchup — a 66-35 win — the Wildcats felt they were outplayed and outworked.
“We really wanted to send a message with our kids,” Keystone coach Jeff Holzhauer said. “We really needed to come out with better focus and better intensity than we did the game before.”
This time, the Wildcats raced to a 31-2 lead after the first quarter and handed the Pirates (3-16, 1-13) their sixth-worst loss in school history.
“They were ready to go,” Black River interim coach Josh Calame said. “We may have been, too, but it didn’t matter. They came out jacked up and that was it.”
Keystone seemingly scored at will and played a trapping defense that forced 13 turnovers by Black River (2-16, 1-12) while allowing just five shots in the first quarter.
Leading the way was sophomore guard Austin Conrad. The 6-footer scored eight of his team-high 14 points as Keystone showed early it wanted to make up for that bad period almost a month a go.
“We know they have the ability to beat us,” Conrad said. “Coach told us to come out and give it all we have and play as hard as can be. We wanted to get up early and put them away.”
The highlight of the dominating start was an alley-oop dunk from Collin Fitzgerald (12 points) to Matt Bastock (13 points) that made it 14-2.
Joining Austin Conrad, Fitzgerald and Bastock in double-digit scoring was big-time tight end recruit C.J. Conrad, who came off the bench to drop in 12 points and pull down a game-high nine rebounds.
“That’s been our trend lately,” Holzhauer said. “It seems like the better we’ve been playing, the more balanced our scoring has been. We’ve been getting a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys throughout the course of the year.”
The lead continued to grow throughout the game, reaching a high of 56 (73-17) at the end of three.
The Pirates’ night was all-around miserable. They made just six field goals, finished the game with more turnovers (26) than points and were outrebounded 40-15.
“The way they play defense, they just overwhelm you,” Calame said. “That was it.”
Tyler Potter (11 points) scored almost half of Black River’s points and was the only player with more than four.
Allan Benson (4 points) was the only player besides Potter to make a basket, as the rest of the Pirates were a combined 0-for-16 shooting.
|Behind nine points from Turner Campbell, Keystone won the junior varsity game 50-13. Matt Potter led the Pirates with nine. Potter, Elijah Payne, Michael Hazlett and Brandon Heath later made their varsity debuts for Black River.|
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Keystone 81, Black River 24
KEYSTONE 31 20 22 8 — 81
BLACK RIVER 2 11 4 7 — 24
Keystone — Brandon Kuhl 3-0-6, Austin Conrad 7-0-14, Matt Bastock 5-2-13, Collin Fitzgerald 5-0-12, K.J. Williams 3-0-8, Jacob Miller 3-2-8, Marcus Gunter 0-0-0, C.J. Conrad 4-4-12, Jake Bowers 1-2-5, Kobe Whalen 1-0-3, Jacob Mezera 0-0-0, Jake Moffitt 0-0-0, Ronnie Shaw 0-0-0. TOTALS: 32-10-81.
Black River — Brad Spencer 0-0-0, David Jeske 0-0-0, Tyler Potter 4-2-11, Allan Benson 2-0-4, Alex McIntyre 0-0-0, Logan Goff 0-0-0, Curtis Roupe 0-3-3, Michael Hazlett 0-0-0, Dylan Lewis 0-2-2, Derek Hawley 0-4-4, Brandon Heath 0-0-0, Elijah Payne 0-0-0, Matt Potter 0-0-0. TOTALS: 6-11-24.
3-point goals — Fitzgerald 2, Williams 2, Bastock, Bowers, Whalen, T. Potter. Rebounds — Keystone 40 (C.J. Conrad 9), Black River 15 (Hawley 4). Assist — Keystone 12 (Kuhl 4), Black River 2 (Benson, Goff), Records — Keystone (15-5, 13-2), Black River (3-17, 1-13). Junior varsity — Keystone 50, Black River 13.