Keller and Fossil Ridge are taking different paths into the playoffs, but their objectives have been attained.
Keller finished the regular season with a win over Central, while Fossil Ridge dropped its finale to Northwest. Not much else changed in terms of the seeds from the district. The only thing lost for Ridge was the opportunity to share the district title with the Indians.
Keller finished at 12-2 and 22-5 overall and was the outright district champion and top seed following the Central game.
Even with a playoff spot wrapped up, Keller wasn’t backing off the accelerator and posted a 58-38 win over the Chargers.
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“The last game was important to us,” said Keller head coach Randal Durant. “Whether we were district champs or not was at stake and that helped to keep us focused.”
R.J. Nembhard led Keller in scoring against Central with 13, with Brock Anders adding 11.
The playoffs were to launch on Tuesday with Keller taking on Fort Worth Paschal. The games were played after the press deadline, but results can be found at dfwvarsity.com.
Durant said the team had watched plenty of tape of Paschal and had practiced hard since last week. “They’re certainly capable of beating us,” Durant said, “so we’ll have to play well.”
Should they play well enough to get past the Panthers, Keller will be paired with the winner of the El Paso Bel Air and Odessa Permian winner. The game will likely take place on Friday, with an exact location and time to be determined.
Keller won’t be adding any wrinkles, as Durant said the time for that was before the second go ‘round of the district schedule. “You’ve got to go with what you’ve been doing,” he said.
Fossil Ridge, finishing 11-3 in district and 21-8 overall, was to take on Arlington Lamar on Tuesday.
The loss to Northwest didn’t impact the seeding of the Panthers, as they enter the playoffs as the second seed of District 4-5A.
The win did boost the Texans up to the third seed and Richland took the final spot.
“We’re certainly disappointed,” Fossil Ridge head coach Zack Myers said of the loss. “But we took Wednesday off and the guys came back and had a great practice on Friday,” he said in regard to any letdown.
“We played hard and got after it, but we just missed making some plays,” Myers said of the 73-68 loss to Northwest. “All our goals are still there and now it’s a whole other season. It wouldn’t have mattered come Tuesday night,” he explained to his team.
Ryan Parker went off for 31 points for Fossil Ridge in the Northwest game while Cameron Montgomery had 11.
Should they get past the 15-12 Vikings on Tuesday, the Panthers will take on the winner of the Midland and El Paso Coronado matchup on Friday.
The Panthers have been operating with shorter practice sessions since late in the year, but Myers said the intensity is increased.
• Central, although losing the game to Keller, has seen improved play from Juan Najera, who scored 21 points in the game. J.R. Rogers added 11 points for the Chargers.
• Timber Creek finished 11-15 on the season and closed out the district schedule with a 78-76 win over Carroll to finish 5-9 in league play. DeVante’ Waldon scored 26 points for the Falcons.