Keller Citizen

Keller ISD tourney builds up to district openers

Keller is looking for ways to keep teams from focusing on shutting down standouts like R.J. Nembhard, center.
Keller is looking for ways to keep teams from focusing on shutting down standouts like R.J. Nembhard, center. Star-Telegram

The Keller ISD boys basketball teams are trying to add experience in the last few games before district play begins.

Next week, the Keller ISD Tournament will be the final action before the wins and losses count in the standings.

Keller is looking to fine-tune its game and round out its rotation on the court.

The Indians had lost to Mansfield Summit in overtime, 86-85, and also took on another quality opponent in the feature match-up games of Hoopfest against Plano West.

The Indians made a huge comeback but fell short, losing to Plano West, 64-59.

Keller had trailed at the half, 40-24.

With Frisco Lone Star and then Richland on Friday, the Keller ISD Tournament next weekend will lead into the Indians’ first district game with Byron Nelson.

“Playing time and chemistry is big,” said Keller head coach Randall Durant. “We need to learn where to be and how to play together. The X’s and O’s will get better and we’re hoping chemistry of where everybody goes gets better,” Durant said of the coming games.

With teams focusing on Nolan Taylor and R.J. Nembhard, Durant said the focus is building the confidence of other players.

“We need to make them pay if they don’t give attention to the rest of the team,” Durant said.

For Fossil Ridge, the upcoming Sanger Tournament is an opportunity to get players extra court minutes.

“We hope to get lots of experience,” said Fossil Ridge head coach Zack Myers. “We have lots of guys that learn more and get better with every game. We hope to have some success and to continue to build some confidence.”

Myers said turnovers have made or broken the Panthers thus far.

“As far as our early season results, it’s pretty simple – when we’ve taken care of the ball we’ve had success. When we haven’t taken care of the ball, we’ve struggled.”

Now, going forward, the Panthers have to put two elements together.

“I love our fight,” Myers said. “Now we need to add execution to that fight.”

Fossil Ridge will host Denton Guyer for the first district game on Dec. 18.

Timber Creek will play in the Chisholm Trail Tournament this week and will open with Aledo, a team it defeated 75-51 recently.

“The next two weeks we’ll play a bunch of games – Fort Worth Christian (early in the week), three at Chisholm Trail, Birdville and then four in our tournament,” said Timber Creek head coach Brad Mouser.

Timber Creek will open with Denton Ryan in the district schedule.

“Having a lot of tournament time, we’re forced to play a bunch of guys,” Mouser said of gaining experience up and down the bench. “It will be a two-week stretch with a lot of different minutes for guys and the chance to clean things up.”

Mouser had just notched his 200th career victory last week when the Falcons got past Arlington Seguin in double overtime, 61-60.

“It was a good quality win over the third-ranked 5A team,” Mouser said.

“Now, we go get another 200 [wins] and just keep working out some of our kinks which is what the tournaments are for and getting ready for district,” Mouser said.

Central was to play Fort Worth Christian and then host Denton before the first district game at Northwest on Dec. 18.

The Chargers will be playing in the Bullfrog Classic tournament this weekend at Lake Worth.

In their most recent game – a loss to Mansfield – the Chargers still were able to add team marks.

The Chargers put up 59 shots and made 11 three-pointers, both program records.

Scoring in the game included James DeSilva with 15 points, Jakobe Kirk, 14 and Hayden Selzer, 8.