Keller boys clamp down to hand Northwest first district loss

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Keller’s Nolan Taylor had a look of disbelief Tuesday night when he was whistled for his fifth foul.

After dominating in the middle, he was being shown the exit door with 1:34 to go and his team clinging to a six-point lead.

Behind six free throws down the stretch and a key steal and layup by teammate Kyle Tanner, the Indians knocked Justin Northwest from the unbeaten perch in District 4-5A, hanging on for a 55-47 victory at Northwest High School.

“Yeah, I thought it was kind of a weak call considering I got shoved all the way under the basket on the free-throw attempt,” Taylor said. “I barely got him if I did, and it was crunch time so it could have been bad.”

In the end it wasn’t, and a lot of that had to do with Keller’s stifling 3-2 zone defense, as the Indians moved into a tie for first place in district.

It held normally high-scoring, up-tempo Northwest to just 16-of-53 shooting from the floor and 6 of 16 from the 3-point arc.

Tanner and Brock Anders each had 16 points to lead Keller (15-4, 5-1) and Taylor added eight points. Twelve of Tanner’s total came in the fourth quarter, when he went 6-for-6 at the free-throw line in the final 25.4 seconds.

Taylor, along with forwards Ryan Feifer and Erik Frederiksen, combined for five blocks on the night, forcing Northwest’s scorers to the perimeter.

The Texans (18-4, 5-1) had only five points in the third quarter on 2-of-12 shooting and finally got a couple of 3-point baskets to make a game of it late.

Keller trailed 24-21 at halftime, but a 3-pointer by Anders at the 2:09 mark of the third quarter gave the Indians the lead for good.

Keller, which increased its lead to as much as 12 points midway through the fourth quarter, connected on 17 of 47 shots. Northwest was led by Elijah Christman, who scored 14 points.

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