High School Sports

Kelller boys basketball primed for second half of district play

A year ago Keller (16-4, 6-1) only returned one starter and all the Indians did was shock the rest of District 4-5A. by making the playoffs.

With one starter back for 2013-14 they're doing it all over again as they enter Tuesday’s game to start the second half of district play in a first place tie with rival Keller Fossil Ridge (15-6, 6-1).

Keller had its toughest challenge of the season just over a week ago when they went on the road and lost to Richland and then had to face the state's No. 5 ranked team in Justin Northwest. They rose to the challenge and were able to knock off the Texans 55-47 also on the road.

“Going to Northwest after losing to Richland was big, it showed some character,” Keller coach Randall Durant said. “We are a young team and even good high school teams have the problem where you win a few and think you’re good and get beat. We could have let that loss put doubt in our head but instead it was a big step maturation wise for us.”

Keller and Fossil Ridge are just one game up on Northwest and Richland as the second half starts and Durant knows the race is far from over.

“All four teams at the top of the district are pretty even and the games are all going to come down to the end when we all play each other, he said. “The whole thing we try to preach though is mental tough ness in all we do. Our style of play isn’t going to blow people out so we try to focus on a couple possessions to win and the kids have bought into it.”

While the Indians have three players averaging at least eight points per game led by Nolan Taylor at 15.5 points per game and Kyle Tanner who adds 12 they rely heavily on their defense.

“We held Central to just four baskets through the first three quarters the other night,” Durant said. “There are going to be nights where you just don’t shoot well and you make silly mistakes, but if you give a good defensive effort each night you’re going to have a chance to win games.”