Keller and Fossil Ridge have been two of the more impressive teams in the non-district season and the two were set to square off in the District 4-5A opener on Tuesday. The games were played after the press deadline, but results can be found at dfwvarsity.com.
Keller, 7-3 headed into the district schedule, had just dropped a game to Mansfield Timberview last Friday, 56-47. The Indians were up on Timberview, 24-21 at the half before losing they lead, and then the game, in the second half.
The Indians bounced back in a game played with Fort Worth Country Day on Saturday to help make up game time lost due to a canceled tournament over the weather-caused hiatus in the schedule. Keller beat Country Day 57-45. Everyone got in on the action, with 10 players scoring in the win.
Following the opener with the Panthers, Keller will host Haltom on Friday before traveling to Carroll on Jan. 3 to continue to quick stretch of formidable district opponents.
Keller head coach Randall Durant said there’s never an easy game in district play, though, and added that starting with strong competition within the first three games could be seen as something of an advantage.
“In the long run, you might as well,” Durant said. “You have to play 15 games to determine the playoffs, so I’m not sure, though, there’s any advantage,” he said of starting off with quality opponents. “You just wish you could play them all at home,” he joked.
Having a tournament canceled due to weather prevented Durant from testing the strength of the Indians’ bench, he said.
The Country Day game was scheduled to help replace tournament games lost the previous week.
Durant knew Fossil Ridge would be a challenge, as “they have been playing as well as anyone,” he said.
As well as looking ahead, Keller was going to spend a little time looking back at the Timberview game. “We didn’t play great, we didn’t play too badly,” Durant said. “We lost focus, but they’re certainly a good team. The good thing is that we saw things on film we can correct.”
• Ridge, 6-3, after Keller, will play Central on Friday and come back Jan. 3 to play Haltom.
The Panthers had beat Mansfield last Friday, 65-43. In that game, Angel Rodriguez had 12 points, Cameron Montgomery, 11 and Ryan Parker 10.
• Central was to host Timber Creek on Tuesday and then go to Fossil Ridge and then Richland after the holiday break. The winner from Tuesday will have notched their first district win and can look toward putting together a run at a playoff spot. The Chargers are coming off a tough 50-49 loss to Lake Dallas last week. The Chargers led most of the game, but were outscored 20-9 in the final quarter. JR Rogers, Jake McClurg and Jamarcus Mayfield each had 12 points.
• Timber Creek, 4-4 overall, will be at Richland on Friday. After the holiday break, they’ll take on Northwest, one of the pre-season picks by many to grab a playoff spot.