WEST SALEM — There was a hot corner in Northwestern High School and Keystone’s Matt Bastock and Collin Fitzgerald found it when it counted.
Bastock opened up the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer from the corner, which started a string of four straight he and Fitzgerald made — all from the same corner — and the Wildcats put away Northwestern 73-44 in a Tuesday night non-conference showdown.
“We were joking around out there saying, ‘That corner was hot,’” Fitzgerald said. “We both took shots on the other side and didn’t make it, so we had to get back in that corner because that’s our corner.”
Keystone shot 55 percent from beyond the arc with nine of its 11 connections coming from Bastock and Fitzgerald. Bastock finished with 20 points and connected on six of 10 threes. Fitzgerald started off slow from outside, but finished 3-of-5 after he nailed a deep three as time expired in the first half. He led all scorers with 22 points and shot 7-of-10 from the field.
“The first half I wasn’t really making them and then that halftime shot just got me going,” Fitzgerald said. “When I shot it, it didn’t even feel good so I was pumped.”
Brandon Kuhl snagged eight rebounds for the Wildcats (16-5), despite being outsized in the post. While Keystone was rejected a number of times, the Wildcats held a 27-17 edge on the glass, including a 9-6 advantage at the offensive end.
“They let us play down there in the paint and we enjoyed it,” Keystone coach Jeff Holzhauer said. “Kuhl gave us great effort. He’s a 6-foot post player. He did a great job on the boards and a great job defensively. When he gets favorable matchups, he scores a lot of points.”
Brandon Covert was the only player for Northwestern (11-11) to hit double figures with 15. He also snagged two rebounds. The 6-4 senior combined with 6-8 freshman Derek Koch to make life in the paint difficult for the Wildcats, but Keystone managed to hold its own.
“Covert did some good things, but Keystone outplayed us and that’s really the bottom line,” Northwestern coach Matt Alberts said. “You make that many threes and good things will happen. Brandon’s a good guy, but it takes more than one guy. It takes a whole team.”
C.J. Conrad had six points and eight rebounds for Keystone, while his brother Austin had eight points and five rebounds.
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keystone 73, Northwestern 44
KEYSTONE (73): Brandon Kuhl 2-1-5, Austin Conrad 3-2-8, C.J. Conrad 3-0-6, K.J. Williams 3-0-6, Matt Bastock 7-0-20, Jacob Miller 1-0-3, Collin Fitzgerald 7-5-22, Marcus Gunter 1-0-3. Totals 27-8-73.
NORTHWESTERN (44): Malachi Nolletti 3-1-7, Tristan Weaverling 0-0-0, Brandon Covert 6-3-15, Collin Cayse 2-0-5, Matt Kohler 1-1-3, Ben Ladrach 0-1-1, Trevor Smith 3-0-8, Derek Koch 2-1-5. Totals 17-7-44.
Keystone 13 24 14 22 — 73
Northwestern 12 11 11 10 — 44
Three-point goals: Keystone 11-20 (Bastock 6, Fitzgerald 3, Miller, Gunter), Northwestern 3-12 (Smith 2, Cayse). Field goals: Keystone 27-54 (50 percent), Northwestern 17-44 (39 percent). Free throws: Keystone 8-10 (80 percent), Northwestern 7-15 (47 percent). Rebounds: Keystone 27 (C.J. Conrad 8, Kuhl 8), Northwestern 17 (Koch 5). Total fouls: Keystone 14, Northwestern 8. Turnovers: Keystone 19, Northwestern 18.
Junior varsity: Keystone, 43-39