Keys 57, Poteau 42 (boys)
Keys looked early like it would be in for a long night, but the Cougars ended up cruising to a 57-42 victory over Poteau in the first round of the Cougars Invitational on Tuesday night at Cougar Fieldhouse.
The Pirates came out on fire and built a 14-5 advantage through the opening 6:12, but Keys was able to salvage a respectable first-quarter deficit of just 15-9.
“We came out a little flat in the first quarter,” Keys coach Duane Jones said. “I think after the Sequoyah game the other night, I’m not sure we were in to this game as much as we were for that one.”
The Cougars were able to clamp down on defense, however, and turn the game completely around by outscoring the visitors 13-3 in the second quarter.
“Poteau came out on fire and we missed some easy ones, but we got it going and we had an excellent second quarter,” Jones said. “I think that was the turning point of the game.”
Keys would go on to outscore Poteau 35-24 in the second half and take home the 15-point triumph.
The Cougars shot a blistering 52 percent from the field (26 of 50), and the team held the visitors to just 33-percent shooting (15 of 45).
Payton Ragsdale led Keys with 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals.
“Payton has had solid numbers for us almost every game now,” Jones said. “It’s really nice to have a big guy that you can go to when you need a score.”
Trevor Eubanks played all but one minute and finished with 16 points and six rebounds, and Mason Turman added 10 points for the home side.
The Cougars will now face Vinita on Thursday night at 5:50 for a spot in the tournament finals.
Kendrick Hardaway paced Poteau with 19 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. He was the only member of the team in double figures. Poteau will take on Fort Gibson JV on Friday at 8:45 p.m.