WELLINGTON - A goal is for Keystone`s girls to make 70 percent of their foul shots.
Noble enough goal. Achieving it is another story.
The Wildcats missed 19 free throws Wednesday night, which is one more than Wellington took. And they got hammered on the backboards, 43-25. But somehow they left with a
62-51 victory over Wellington in Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division action.
"Up until this game, we`ve been a lot better at the foul line than we were last year," said Keystone coach Scott Terry. "Last year, that was our Achilles` heel. Coming into tonight`s game, we were shooting 63 percent as a team. Our goal is 70 percent and we feel that would be pretty good for us."
Keystone (4-1, 2-1 PAC) squandered a six-point lead in the second quarter to trail 31-29 at the break.
Wellington made its big run midway in the second quarter, trailing 23-17. With Callie McConnell and Cassie Gleisner scoring two baskets apiece, the Dukes went on an 11-2 run for a 28-25 lead with under three minutes to go in the period. They had a two-point halftime lead.
"We went into halftime saying that mentally we were doing what we needed to do to get back in the game and that`s the way we should have been playing," said Wellington coach Ron Clady.
Over the first 16 minutes, Wellington won the backboards battle, 22-12, and benefited from Keystone`s eight missed free throws.
It all changed in the third quarter. The Wildcats opened with a 6-0 run as Casidy Gregory, Taylor Bell and Chloe Irish hit field goals. With Kim Kokoski, Gregory and Taylor Kessinger scoring, the Wildcats took a 42-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
"I really liked the job Kimberly Kokoski did for us tonight," Terry said. "She played under control, took good care of the basketball and played good defense for us. She was certainly one of the bright spots we had tonight."
"We came out flat in the third quarter and never really picked up our scoring," Clady said. "I would say that allowed them to get the lead that they got and it was just really tough to come from behind."
Bell said she hoped the win would give Keystone momentum going into a Saturday showdown with Buckeye, which finished second to the Wildcats in the Stars Division last season.
"We just picked it up defensively in the second half and got the win," she said. "We got energized in the second half. We just pushed it more in the second half. We knew we had to score more points."
Keystone opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run as Becky Nielsen drove for a basket and Bell added two field goals from close range. It gave the Wildcats a 48-37 lead and, as a practical matter, it was over.
Wellington closed the gap a bit when Alyssa Rangel scored with a putback, was fouled and converted a three-point play, then added a foul shot to cut the Keystone lead to 50-43 with just under three minutes to play. But the Wildcats made 6 of 10 foul shots in the last minute-plus to salt it away.
The Wildcats` Bell scored a game-high 17 points. Irish added 11 and Kokoski 10. McConnell`s 14 points were tops in the Wellington lineup. Emily Touma, who nailed the Dukes` only 3-pointer, finished with 10 and Gleisner scored nine.
Keystone 62, Wellington 51
KEYSTONE (62): Becky Nielsen 2-4-9, Kim Kokoski 5-0-10, Taylor Bell 6-4-17, Aubrie Ridinger 0-0-0, Taylor Kessinger 2-2-6, Chloe Irish 5-1-11, Casidy Gregory 3-0-6, Melanie Bastock 1-1-3. Totals: 24-12-62.
WELLINGTON (51): Cassie Gleisner 4-1-9, Amy Rader 0-0-0, Christy King 1-0-2, Morgan Brasee 0-0-0, Becky King 1-0-2, Emily Touma 3-3-10, Alyssa Rangel 3-3-9, Katie Stumphauzer 0-0-0, Chrissy Greer 1-3-5, Callie McConnell 7-0-14. Totals: 20-10-51.
KeyhstoneÂ 17Â 12Â 13Â 20 â€“ 62
WellingtonÂ 11Â 20Â Â Â 6Â 14 â€“ 51
3-point goals: Keystone 2-8 (Nielsen, Bell); Wellington 1-5 (Touma). Field goals: Keystone 24-56 (42.9 percent); Wellington 20-56 (35.7 percent). Free throws: Keystone 12-31; Wellington 10-18. Rebounds: Keystone 25; Wellington 43. Turnovers: Keystone 15; Wellington 22.Â
Junior varsity: Keystone, 26-24.
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7137 or email@example.com.