Keyser falls to Pendleton 51-43

Chapin Jewell
Special to the News Tribune
Pendleton's Bailey Thompson and Keyser's Michael Schell stretch for the ball on Monday. Thompson had a game-high 22 points in the Wildcats' win.

KEYSER - The last time the Pendleton County lost a boys’ basketball game was March 7, 2019, more than two years ago. The Wildcats won 23 consecutive games last year before the season came to an abrupt end due to COVID. Pendleton had also opened this season with a record of 6-0 in advance of Monday’s meeting with the Golden Tornado at Keyser.

With a win streak of 29 straight games, Pendleton came to Keyser looking to make it 30-straight. From the beginning of the game, however, it was apparent that the Golden Tornado was going to make that task a difficult one for the visitors.

Keyser’s performance in the first half was not indicative of a team that entered the contest with a record of 1-5. In fact, through one period of play, the Black and Gold found themselves deadlocked with Pendleton by a score of 11-11. By the conclusion of the second period, Pendleton had gained a lead but it was an ever so slight one, one point in fact, 20-19.

The Wildcats gained separation in the third period, however, outscoring Keyser 16-9 in the third stanza to take a 36-28 lead heading into the final period. Keyser would match Pendleton’s scoring output in the fourth period as the two teams scored 15 points apiece.  Nonetheless, the Wildcats would earn the 51-43 victory, their 30th straight.

“The effort is there, we just have to find a way to score the basketball. We have had a different rotation every game, now were moving JV players up to see if they can contribute as well,” Keyser coach Johnny Haines stated. “Hopefully, in the near future we will have a rotation that can score the basketball. If not, we will continue to look into more JV players or even freshmen.”

In the victory, Pendleton was led in double figures by Bailey Thompson with 22 points, and Tanner Townsend with 10 points.  In addition, Josh Alt added eight points, Cole Day seven points, and Braden McClanahan and Isaiah Gardiner two points each.

In the loss, Keyser was led by Darrick Broadwater with 21 points, followed by eight points each from Hunter VanPelt and Seth Healy.  In addition, Alec Stanislawczyk, Trevor Seabolt, and Lonnie Pridemore tallied two points each.

“We have a lot of games in a short amount of time, so everyone will be getting to play quality minutes. After that we will re-evaluate into next week and put the best five guys out there and hope for the best. Those five could come from any of our three teams,” Haines explained.

Keyser (1-6) traveled to Petersburg on Tuesday.

According to Haines, “We have to find a way to put four quarters together, when we do, we will be in position to win some games.  Hopefully, that comes sooner than later.”

Keyser won the junior varsity contest over Pendleton by a score of 60-40. The junior Tornado were led in double figures by Noah Broadwater with 17 points, and Michael Schell with 13 points. In addition, Tyler Lannon added nine points, Braydon Keller eight points, and Chris Furey six points. Finally, Edan Parks, Seth Healy, and Ayden Costilow tallied two points each, and Anthony Mele one point.