KEYSER - Over the river and through the woods, it about a 75-mile, one hour and 45-minute trek from Keyser High School to Philip Barbour High School near Phillipi. At times, that's been a particularly long, disappointing, and not particularly enjoyable trip for local sports fans.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Over the river and through the woods, it about a 75-mile, one hour and 45-minute trek from Keyser High School to Philip Barbour High School near Phillipi. At times, that’s been a particularly long, disappointing, and not particularly enjoyable trip for local sports fans.
In Keyser’s case, considering that Saturday’s trip to play Philip Barbour in basketball was a double-header of sorts, with both the Boys and Girls making the trip for back to back to back to back to back to back action, the outcome of the games, key sectional matchups mind you, would ultimately determine the mood of the day.
To Keyser’s credit, both the Boys and Girls got the job done and made sure the trip was a pleasurable one, as the Boys defeated the Colts 61-36, convincingly, and the Girls held on to edge the Lady Colts 60-57 in the nightcap.
With the victory, the Keyser Boys have now won four-straight, advance their record to 10-5 overall, and earn a key sectional win.  With the victory, the Keyser Girls’ have also now won four-straight, advance their record to 12-7 overall, and earn a key sectional win.  All this in advance of what are key matchups against county-rival Frankfort this week.
In the Boys’ game, Keyser took control from the start and never relinquished the lead they acquired early. The Golden Tornado started hot, outscoring the Colts by 20 points to take a commanding 26-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. While Philip Barbour edged Keyser 13-9 in the second quarter, but still trailed the Black and Gold 35-19 at the end of the first half.
Keyser used a huge 16-5 advantage in the third quarter to extend their lead to 27 points (51-24) at the end of the third quarter. In the final frame, the Colts edged Keyser 10-12 but barely put a dent in Keyser’s already huge lead. When the final buzzer rang, Keyser earned the convincing 61-36 victory.
Sophomore Amare Kennedy led Keyser with a game-high 19 points, and was followed in double figures by Shawn See with 12 points, and Ryan Shoemaker and PJ Kennedy with 11 points each.  In addition, Darrick Broadwater netted four points, while Darius Redman and Logan Proud scored two points each in the win.
In the loss, Philip Barbour was led by Jeremiah Siebert, Gage Bibey, and Jesiah Matlick with six points each. Logan Bell and Cody Cooper netted four points each, while Noah Ward and Jedidiah Hawkins scored three points each. Trent Whited and Josh Watson closed out the scoring for the Colts with two points apiece.
In the Girls’ game, Keyser’s Lady Tornado maintained a close, but consistent lead throughout the contest. Keyser led 17-14 at the inclusion of the first quarter, and outscored host Philip Barbour by three points (13-10) in the second quarter to take a 30-24 lead at haltime.
After a 15-8 advantage in the third quarter, Keyser entered play in the fourth quarter with a comfortable 13-point lead (45-32). The Lady Colts, however, mounted a serious comeback, outscoring Keyser 25-15 in the final frame to put themselves in a position to force overtime. Trailing 60-57, Philip Barbour’s Marissa Schiefelbein’s three-pointer to force overtime was close but failed to connect. Credit the Lady Tornado with handling their business down the stretch in earning the 60-57 victory and gaining a key sectional win.
Alexa Shoemaker led Keyser with a game-high 22-point performance.  Kaili Crowl was next for the Lady Tornado with 14 points, followed by Maddie Broadwater and Caitlyn Wolfe with eight points each.  Chloe Healy with four points, and Rebekah Biser with one point, closed out the Keyser scoring.
In the losing effort, Philip Barbour was led by Emily Denison with a team-high 17 points, followed by Alyssa Hill with 12 points, and Averi Carpenter with 10 points. In addition, Marissa Schiefelbein netted nine points, Mattilea Marsh three points, and Bryanne Tustin and Kiana Bolyard with two points apiece.
Keyser’s Boys (10-5) will next host Frankfort in triple-header action today, with freshmen play beginning at 4:30 p.m., junior varsity action at 6 p.m., and varsity action to follow at 7:30 p.m.  Keyser’s Girls (12-7) will next host Frankfort on Friday, Feb. 7, with junior varsity action beginning at 6 p.m., and varsity action to follow at 7:30 p.m.