KEYSER - Fresh off a disappointing 62-29 loss Tuesday night at Southern, and with an all-important game with Frankfort looming, Keyser was in desperate need of a momentum-grabbing win as they hosted Petersburg on Wednesday.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Fresh off a disappointing 62-29 loss Tuesday night at Southern, and with an all-important game with Frankfort looming, Keyser was in desperate need of a momentum-grabbing win as they hosted Petersburg on Wednesday.  
Keyser and Petersburg played to a 20-20 tie in the game’s first quarter.  Amare Kennedy started the game hot for Keyser with seven first-quarter points. Dalton Lough hit three three-pointers in the first quarter for Petersburg and in total the Vikings hit six three-pointers in the first quarter to account for 18 of their 20 points.
The second quarter was all Petersburg as Kahner Turner scored eight of the Vikings’ 23 points in the second frame to lead the Vikings to a 23-11 advantage over Keyser in the game’s second stanza. With that decided second quarter advantage, Petersburg took a 43-31 lead into the locker rooms at the half.   
Facing a 43-31 deficit at halftime against the Vikings, it looked as though Keyser might suffer a second disappointing loss in a row.  At that point, however, the switch flipped.
“Well, I did give an inspirational speech at halftime. I think they took that message to heart and played with the heart and hustle that they possess. We came out flat and Petersburg shot lights out, we just pushed the ball more and played defense the second half which wore the Vikings down in the end,” Keyser coach John Haines Jr. explained.
In the third quarter, Keyser exploded for 30 points, more than doubling up Petersburg’s 14-point performance in the quarter, to gain the lead a 61-57 heading into the fourth quarter. In that third quarter, Keyser got seven points from PJ Kennedy, and six points each from Ryan Shoemaker, Darrick Broadwater and Shawn See in gaining the lead for good.
What was a close 61-57 lead for Keyser grew much larger in the fourth quarter as Keyser more than tripled up Petersburg’s output, outscoring the Vikings 21-6 in the game’s final frame to secure the 82-63 victory. In that final stanza, Ryan Shoemaker scored seven points and PJ Kennedy six points in leading Keyser to the strong finish and victory.
PJ Kennedy finished with a game—high 21 points, followed in double figures for Keyser by Ryan Shoemaker (18), Darrick Broadwater (15), and Amare Kennedy (11).  Shawn See finished just shy of double figures with nine points while Logan Proud contributed three points.  Finally, Latrell Brooks and Darius Redman tallied two points each with Philip Biser closing out the scoring with one point.
In the loss, Kahner Turner led Petersburg with 18 points, followed in double figures by Matt Vanmeter with 16 points and Dalton Lough 14 points. Lane Huffman finished just shy of double figures with eight points for the Vikings. Finally, Quentin Oates netted three points, Cody Nuzum two points, and Charlie Moomau and Slade Saville contributed one point apiece.
The victory over Southern gave Keyser the momentum it was looking for heading into Friday night’s matchup with cross-county rival Frankfort.  According to Haines, “I knew Southern would be a tough place to play, so I wanted to get a game in before we played Frankfort, so it definitely help swing the momentum going into Friday.”
Keyser’s win over Petersburg elevated the Black and Gold’s record to 5-3 in advance of Friday night’s matchup at Frankfort.
The Golden Tornado was also successful in the junior varsity game, defeating Petersburg decisively by a score of 74-40. Seth Earnest led the junior varsity attack for Keyser with a game-high 15 points, followed by 11 points from Jacob Weinrich. In addition, Trevor Seabolt, Sammy Bradfield and Kayden Avona scored eight points apiece.
Also for the junior Tornado, Lonnie Pridemore tallied six points, Malachi Blowe and Jacob Malcolm five points each, and Vito Amoruso four points.  Finally, Hunter Vanpelt and Alec Stanislawczyk netted two points apiece.
Ian Vanmeter and Jacob Hawk led the junior Vikings with 12 and seven points respectively.
The Golden Tornado freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams played at Frankfort on Friday. Keyser will next host Berkeley Springs on Tuesday, Jan. 21, with junior varsity action tipping off at 6 p.m., followed by varsity action at 7:30 p.m.