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Keyser rallies in final two minutes, defeats Berkeley Springs, 35-28

Feb. 28—KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser stepped up when it mattered most, especially on defense.

In a one-possession game for most of the fourth quarter, the Golden Tornado (7-16) made several key defensive stands to defeat Berkeley Springs 35-28 in the Class AAA, Region I, Section 2 semifinal on Tuesday.

"In the middle of the first quarter, we were looking around like what's going on?" Keyser head coach Scott Furey said. "We played man, and that's what we hoped to do. But we were playing really soft. Switching to the press and the 1-3-1 got things energized."

Tied at 24 with 6:30 remaining, Landen Schetrompf came up with a steal and set up Holden Gurson for the go-ahead layup to put the Indians (6-17) up 26-24.

Jace Courrier hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 26 for Keyser with 3:41 to go.

Out of a timeout, Drew Matlick found Patrick Liller for a layup to put the Tornado up 28-26 with 2:13 left.

Liller finished with eight points, three assists, two steals and a block.

After a quick layup from Dakota Hamrick tied the game at 28, Liller found Jack Stanislawczyk for a layup on the other end, giving Keyser a 30-28 lead with 1:38 remaining.

Berkeley Springs called timeout, and on the ensuing inbound Liller recorded a steal.

Keyser called a timeout and was forced to call a second after failing to inbound the ball. On the ensuing inbound, Courrier found Stanislawczyk for an and-one layup to push the Tornado lead to 33-28.

Stanislawczyk was key for Keyser in the second half as he scored a team-high nine points with three steals.

"I can't say enough about Jack," Furey said. "He's a state champion, that might not mean much to some people. That takes a certain mindset to even do that. He watches more film, probably more than any of the coaches do. He knows everything about every player on every team, every game. If there's ever an issue, coming down to the wire, I know Jack's probably scouted it all the way out. I look forward to having him on my staff one day."

Courrier recorded another steal with 20 seconds left and hit a pair of free throws to ice the game at 35-28.

Trailing 20-18 midway through the third quarter, Liller came up with a steal that set up Matlick for a layup to tie the game.

After a block by Kameron Samples, Stanislawczyk went coast-to-coast for a layup to put the Tornado ahead 22-20 with 2:15 left in the third quarter.

After Berkeley Springs stepped out on the baseline for a turnover, Samples hit a floater to push the Tornado lead to 24-20.

The Indians cut it to 24-22 heading into the fourth on a pair of free throws by Jacob Sheky.

In the third quarter, Keyser forced seven turnovers, three by steals. The Tornado got aggressive and had several other near steals.

"We know we have quick, athletic guys that can do that," Furey said. "Nobody's in foul trouble, let's go get it."

The story of the first half was Berkeley Springs' success in the paint. The Indians led 10-2 early, three coming on layups.

Hamrick scored six points in the first quarter, all in the paint. He finished with a game-high 10 points, a steal and a block.

Keyser cut it to 15-8 after one quarter led by Grayson Lambka with a pair of scores in the final minute.

"We were calm in the locker room (at halftime)," Furey said. "Even though we played really bad in the first quarter in man-to-man, we knew we were gonna come out and made a commitment to play defense."

The Tornado went on a 8-3 run to open the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 18-16.

"There for a while, scoring any points was big for our momentum," Furey said. "Some of these guys just need to see the ball go in the basket. Once they see it go in, it really does help."

Berkeley Springs went cold on offense, settling for 3-pointers while Keyser found success inside.

A layup by Gurson gave the Indians a 20-16 lead going into halftime.

In the first half, Berkeley Springs shot 9 of 20 from the field, but was 7 of 10 inside the arc.

Keyser went 7 of 21 from the field, missing several early layups.

The Golden Tornado advance to the Section 2 final on Friday at Hampshire. It's a rematch of last year's section final, also in Romney, West Virginia. Keyser won 83-81 in a thrilling double overtime finish.

"It's gonna be a raucous environment because the way things ended last year," Furey said. "We're evenly matched on our best days and we're really evenly matched on our worst days."

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at jkendall@times-news.com.