The Richland boys came out with the home-court energy and used a late-game surge to put away Keller 58-46 on Friday night.
“We’re excited about it, especially since we dropped one on Tuesday at [Justin] Northwest,” Richland coach Richard Bacon said. “The bounce-back came on Wednesday. Practice was very good on Wednesday, very good on Thursday.”
Richland (13-6 overall, 4-1 District 4-5A), which only trailed once in the game, got out to a 14-5 lead five minutes into the game behind the play of Tim Priller. The post player scored 13 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer.
And on defense he was able to limit the production of Keller’s Nolan Taylor, who scored 20 points last Friday against Southlake Carroll and 14 on Tuesday against Keller Timber Creek.
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Taylor finished with 10 points, but had just one field goal inside the paint. Priller finished with 18 points, the last two of which came on a dunk to end the game.
Richland led 28-20 at halftime, but Keller (14-4, 4-1) cut the deficit to 35-31 after back-to-back buckets from Brock Anders and Kyle Tanner. But Richland came right back with a 3-pointer from Hayden Hunter and a spark from Zac Graves, who scored seven of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.
And just as he had done in the first quarter, Priller was there in the end pulling Richland away. His layup on the baseline and subsequent free throw put the Rebels up 55-41 with one minute left in the game.
“[Priller] can step out and hit the three, he can post you up, he can finesse you around the basket, he can block a shot or two,” Bacon said. “He is a multi-talented player.”