Keener records career high 26-points in tough loss to Bulldogs


PHILIPPI – The Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights started strong this past Saturday only to fall a little short, as they played host to the Philippi Middle School Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs would go on to produce an outside shooting clinic dropping eight threes against a well-rounded Knights defense. 

Kaden Keener would have a season high 26 points on the night, along with Brayden White adding 13 of his own. Jonathan Maier would round out the field with six. 

The Knights would jump out to an early lead and hold that lead until the fourth period of play. That’s when the Bulldogs started to rain down threes and made multiple appearances to the charity stripe to outpace the Knights scoring down the stretch 2-1. When the final buzzer had sounded the Knights were looking at a score of 53-47. 

“We need to put in some work to take care of the ball better. Tonight, it was like we almost beat ourselves with silly unforced turnovers. This is a great group of boys we just need better control so that the ball will bounce our way a little more,” voiced Knights head coach Mike Moats. 

The Knights would also be in action again this week in a short turnaround game as they also travelled to Central Preston Middle School to face the Wildcats Monday night.

The Knights would face an overwhelming defensive push from the Wildcats as they shut down any hope of an offensive start for the Knights. 

Grayson Ramazan was able to step through the defense of the Wildcats to throw up a modest 14 with Maier adding an additional 8 along with Keener and White adding 4 each. 

The Knights were effective in shutting him down for the remainder of the game as he went on to only score a paltry 6 points for the rest of the game. 

The Knights would struggle to gain any momentum and ultimately drop this one with a final score of 50-29.

“We have got to work on the little things, rebounding, boxing out, control, etc. Taking care of the ball should be our utmost priority and we have struggled to do that effectively all season. I can’t say anything about the grit and hustle of these boys, it is off the charts,” lamented Moats. 

The JV Knights would have a completely different experience against their competitors as they would go on to dominate both the Philippi Bulldogs and the Preston Wildcats. 

The JV Knights started on Saturday with each member of the team touching the ball for two. Jacob Moats and Tucker Stemple each putting up 7 points along with Cole Runner popping 5 of his own on the backside. Rounding out the scoring for the JV Knights would be Poling and Bolyard each putting up 4. 

The JV Knights would end the night as the victor with a final of 35-28. 

Head coach Steve Louzy had a lot to say after the game. “Sometimes we panic, I preach control which they sometimes mistake for slow down. I am really saying take care of the ball and don’t force things that aren’t there. Let the flow of our offense work and don’t get frustrated over little mistakes. Channel that frustration into positive energy for the team”

The JV Knights would post a stellar performance against the Wildcats of Central Preston as they dominated every aspect of the game and came away with a final of 24-8

Moats would put up about half of the winning score as he led the team with 10 total points. Caden Taylor would put up and additional 4 points with Stemple pulling up the rear with 3 points on the night. 

“Our opponent gave us a good opportunity to slow things down and run through our offense. Everyone got in solid minutes and I’m proud of the boys for the control they played with this evening. Hopefully we saw tonight that the flow of our offense works when we move the ball and allow the movement to open things up. We had three starters out of this game, so the bench really stepped up this game,” stated Louzy.

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