LAGRANGE — Keystone put Wellington down early and then suffocated any hopes of a Dukes comeback right out of halftime during an 81-48 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division victory Friday night.
The Wildcats opened the game on an 11-2 run, then smothered Wellington in the second half.
The first play summed up Wellington’s night — Keystone’s Austin Conrad hit Matt Bastock for an alley-oop dunk from the 3-point line in the opening seconds.
“We came out focused with energy and put it on them in the first half,” Bastock said. “Usually we have bad third quarters and coach told us we can’t let it happen. They were still in the game so we had to come out focused.”
Wellington (1-15, 0-10 PAC) got within five at the 4:05 mark, but never closer. Keystone (11-5, 9-2) kept the Dukes at bay for most of the second with Wellington only closing the gap to single digits on two occasions — at the 2:10 and 1:11 marks. The Dukes turned the ball over 11 times in the first half.
“They were pressuring us like crazy,” Wellington coach Dan Gundert said. “We knew they were going to run that 1-2-2 (zone). Against a good basketball team you can’t turn the basketball over like that.”
Bastock had nine after the first, but was scoreless in the second. He finished with 23 points and dropped another nine during the Wildcats’ third-quarter rampage. Keystone opened with a 13-0 run in the first 3:26 of the half and ultimately outscored the Dukes 24-9, effectively ending the game.
“That’s what you want as a coach,” Keystone coach Jeff Holzhauer said. “We needed to get off to a fast start and that’s what we did.”
Conrad also hit double figures for Keystone with 11. His brother C.J. scored nine and only grabbed two rebounds thanks to foul trouble. Brandon Kuhl led Keystone on the glass with five boards.
The Wildcats had nine players record a field goal with 10 total players scoring. They were also lights out from 3-point range, connecting on eight of 17 attempts. Collin Fitzgerald, Marcus Gunter and Bastock each had two.
Wellington’s bright spot was Adam Berry, who scored 20 points. Keystone’s defense did a good job taking away Dylan Kidd who was held to just four points — three in the first half.
“With us focusing on Kidd so much we had some miscommunications because we were so focused on Dylan,” Holzhauer said. “When you have a nice player like that, that happens sometimes.”
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keystone 81, Wellington 48
WELLINGTON (48): Adam Berry 7-4-20, Joey Holliday 3-3-9, Trey Bealer 1-2-4, Dylan Kidd 1-2-4, Chase Bealer 0-2-2, JuJuan Howard 0-0-0, Matt Bullock 0-0-0, Bryce Gibbs 1-0-2, Daryn Broadwater 1-0-3, Ian Fargo 1-0-2, Jacob Miller 1-0-2. Totals 16-13-48.
KEYSTONE (81): Matt Bastock 8-5-23, Austin Conrad 4-3-11, C.J. Conrad 4-1-9, K.J. Williams 3-1-8, Brandon Kuhl 3-0-6. Collin Fitzgerald 3-0-8, Jacob Miller 3-0-7, Marcus Gunter 2-0-6, Jake Bowers 1-0-2, Jacob Mezera 0-1-1. Totals 31-11-81.
Wellington 14 14 9 11 — 48
Keystone 28 12 24 17 — 81
Three-point goals: Wellington 3-15 (Berry 2, Broadwater), Keystone 8-17 (Bastock 2, Fitzgerald 2, Gunter 2, Williams, Miller). Field goals: Wellington 16-45 (36 percent), Keystone 31-50 (62 percent). Free throws: Wellington 13-23 (57 percent), Keystone 11-23 (48 percent). Rebounds: Wellington 16 (Trey Bealer 5), Keystone 30 (Kuhl 5). Total fouls: Wellington 17, Keystone 19. Turnovers: Wellington 16, Keystone 7.