Keota takes fourth
DES MOINES – The fourth-seeded Keota boys’ varsity basketball team lost the consolation game of the Class 1A state tournament on Friday, March 14 at Wells Fargo Arena. The Belmond-Klemme Broncos defeated the Eagles 68 – 53 on the back of stellar shooting and pressure defense.
Belmond-Klemme took advantage of Keota being cold, especially from behind the arc to start the game to get out to a 19 – 6 lead with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter. The Eagles went on an 8 – 2 run to finish the quarter and shrink the Bronco lead to 21 – 14.
Keota would continue that run in the second quarter. A layup by senior Kolton Greiner would make the score 23 – 21, Belmond-Klemme leading, with 4:43 left in the first half.
“We started making our shots and were able to get into an offensive rhythm,” Keota head coach Dan Stout said.
The Broncos took control the rest of the way, ending the first half with a 36 – 30 advantage.
After a 3-point shot by Eagle senior Luke Lyle began the half, Belmond-Klemme would tighten its defense once again. The Broncos outscored Keota 17 – 6 through the rest of the third quarter to take a 56 – 39 lead into the final eight minutes of play.
The fourth quarter was more of Belmond-Klemme forcing turnovers and executing on their offensive possessions to seal the victory.
As a team the Eagles shot 39 percent (18/46) from the field, 7/21 from 3-point range and 10/14 from the free-throw line. The Broncos outrebounded Keota 33 – 29. The Eagles’ other totals were eight assists, four steals and two blocked shots.
Junior Nate Owen led Keota in scoring with 18 points, rebounds with 10 and had both of the blocks. Lyle scored 15 points. Greiner had 10 points and led the team with four assists. Sophomore Zach Mousel added six points. Sophomore Paden Uphold added two points. Sophomore Isaiah Hahn and senior Derek Berg completed the Eagles’ scoring with a point each.
Keota finishes its season at 25 – 3 and was awarded fourth place in the Class 1A state tournament. This was the Eagles’ first tournament appearance in 25 years. It was also the last game in a Keota uniform for Berg, Shane Gibson, Greiner, Justin Hultman and Lyle.
“Those five seniors have been a big part of our team for a few years now. They provided us with great leadership this season as well as played very well on the court. We have some great players returning to fill those spots on our roster for next season,” Stout commented.