With star forward Caleb Schillace on the bench with four fouls, visiting Western Reserve rebounded from a seven-point halftime deficit with a 16-2 third-quarter surge, and led by eight with just 3:32 remaining.
But behind Schillace, who scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, Keystone scored 15 unanswered points and went on a 19-2 run to end the game.
Final score: Keystone 58, Western Reserve 49.
Keystone (2-0) utilized clutch foul shooting — the Wildcats went 14-of-16 from the line — and a stifling press to pull off the huge game-changing run. Keystone scored 26 points in the fourth and 32 in the first three quarters combined.
“We missed a ton of shots there in the third quarter (1-of-6, 0-of-2 from the line) and we missed our share early in the fourth quarter,” Keystone coach Greg Morgan said. “Two points is (rough). A lot of it has to do with the other team, and (Western Reserve) was making us stand around and we were a little tired from last night. But they played last night, too.
“We talked about this being a game of wills. The less-tired team mentally is going to take this game. For awhile there, it looked like them. But we popped back to life when it counted.”
The Roughriders (2-1) overcame their own rough-shooting first half (7-of-28, 5-of-22 from 3-point range) to flip the momentum in the third.
They tied the score at 30 with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter, then went on a 13-0 run before Keystone’s Adam Hopkins made a layup with 1:44 remaining.
Keystone scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 39-37. However, the Roughriders responded with a Kevin Boose 3-pointer, which kick-started an 8-2 spurt that put their lead back to 47-39.
“Their kids just gained momentum (from that point on), and they gained confidence,” Western Reserve coach Chris Sheldon said of the Wildcats. “I think our kids started to creep a little more doubt into their minds. You can’t win any tight high school basketball games with any doubt in your mind.”
Keystone picked up back-to-back “and-ones,” and converted both to cut the deficit to 47-45. A layup off a steal by Brandon Osborne, who led the Wildcats with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, tied the game with 2:06 remaining, and they took the lead for good with 1:13 left on a layup from Adam Hopkins.
“I think our half-court trap helped a lot,” Morgan said. “We jumped into it and really played it well. I thought the guys executed and made some adjustments on how we normally play it and got some steals up on top. That was good execution on their part.”
Schillace only had two points through three quarters and missed most of those thanks to two quick fouls in the first and an offensive foul and technical midway through the third. It was his halfcourt steal, layup and subsequent free throw with 2:41 remaining that seemed to get him and his team motivated.
“We started playing better as a team,” said Schillace, who added 10 rebounds. “All of us started communicating better and we were able to penetrate. In the first half, I was more aggressive than I usually am and it cost me some fouls.”
Brandyn Sittinger added 12 points while reserve C.J. Conrad went 6-of-9 from the line to finish with eight.
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Keystone 58, Western Reserve 49
WESTERN RESERVE (49): Nolan Todd 5-2-16, Nate Good 5-2-15, Kevin Boose 4-2-13, Willie Ruth 0-0-0, Nate Ash 0-0-0, Craig Meyer 2-0-5, Jacob Muenz 0-0-0, Gabe Price 0-0-0. Totals 16-7-49.
KEYSTONE (58): Brandon Osborne 6-0-13, Brandyn Sittinger 3-6-12, Caleb Schillace 2-7-11, Jacob Kolar 2-2-7, Adam Hopkins 2-1-5, C.J. Conrad 1-6-8, Chase Robison 1-0-2, Brandon Grieve 0-0-0. Totals 17-22-58.
Western Reserve 10 13 16 10 — 49
Keystone 18 12 2 26 — 58
Three-point goals: Western Reserve 10-38 (Good 4, Todd 3, Boose 3, Meyer), Keystone 2-6 (Kolar, Osborne). Field goals: Western Reserve 16-48 (33 percent), Keystone 17-34 (50 percent). Free throws: Western Reserve 7-10 (70 percent), Keystone 22-29 (76 percent). Rebounds: Western Reserve 19 (Ash 6), Keystone 30 (Schillace 10). Turnovers: Western Reserve 11, Keystone 24.
Junior Varsity: Western Reserve, 50-45