Keyser's Noah Broadwater: 'He was everywhere, all the time'
KEYSER - Thirty-three points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals. That’s the official stat line for Keyser’s Noah Broadwater in the Black and Gold’s 60-59 victory over Frankfort on Friday night.
If you were there and witnessed the action in person, and many of you were, Broadwater’s performance seemed even larger than what the huge numbers show.
He was everywhere, all the time. And as it turned out, he needed to be. Frankfort, winless entering the contest, gave Keyser absolutely everything they could handle, taking the homestanding Tornado to the brink in a one-point game that went down to the wire.
“It feels great. Like Coach Slider and I were talking, every time we get together, it’s a nail-biter. It keeps taking a toll on us, but the kids just keep leaving it all out there. It was a great atmosphere, it’s great for Mineral County,” Keyser coach Johnny Haines stated after the game.
To Haines, Frankfort, though winless, did not play like a winless team.
“Oh heck no. Coach Slider, he’s got that personality, he coaches them up and he does a great job. We watched them on film with Berkeley and they never quit. I was over at Hampshire and watched them, they are a very scrappy group and I heard they have some nice young teams coming up,” Haines explained.
According to Haines, “Coach Slider always gets them ready to play, so props to him, but I’m happy I got the W, and the bragging rights in my house.”
Frankfort started the game on a 7-0 run, but Keyser got back into contention quickly, gaining a 16-15 advantage by the end of the first quarter. It was Noah Broadwater who led the way from jump, scoring 11 of his game-high 33 points in the opening frame. Tyson Spencer had the hot hand early for the Falcons, hitting two of his four three pointers on the game in the first quarter of play.
Broadwater and Braydon Keller teamed in the second quarter for six points apiece to lead Keyser to an 18-13 advantage in the second quarter, bringing the score to 34-28 in favor of the Golden Tornado at intermission. Spencer and Cameron Lynch scored five points apiece for Frankfort in the second quarter.
After the break, things got interesting. Keyser entered the second half with a six point advantage and built that lead to 10 points (41-31). But, Frankfort had the hot hand with four three pointers in the third stanza, three of those three pointers coming from Cameron Layton. In fact, Layton tied the game at 45-45 with one of his treys.
But again, the story of the game, and the third quarter was no different, was Noah Broadwater. The talented sophomore sensation had 11 points off four field goals and a three-pointer in the third period to thwart the Frankfort attack. Broadwater’s 11 accounted for all but two of Keyser’s points in the third frame en route to a 47-45 Tornado advantage entering the final quarter of play.
Frankfort would outscore Keyser 14-13 in the final quarter, but the Falcons would come up one-point short in an effort to win or tie the game. Keyser would gain as much as a seven-point advantage late with a 54-47 lead. But Frankfort kept fighting back, getting as close as 60-59, the final score, with 8.8 seconds remaining in the game. Broadwater scored the final five of his game-high 33 points in the final quarter.
“Again, it is always a team game, but ever since I’ve watched basketball, since I’ve been four or five years old and understood the game, I haven’t witnessed, other than maybe Scott Riggleman or Jay Twyman back in the eighties, but from the nineties on, I haven’t witnessed anyone have that special of a game all-around, Haines opined.”
“He will never take individual credit, it’s what makes him special. What makes him even more special, he locked down the big shooter that came off the bench. You challenge him, he didn’t come out of the game. I’m amazed by it, honestly, I’m at a loss for words. He works at it, he has a great home life, but it’s never about him, it’s about the team,” Haines explained.
According to Haines, “It’s amazing. He’s an amazing young man. It’s an amazing story how he grew up, the things he went through. But nothing rattles him. He’s a special individual, credit to his family and his teammates, he’s something special. If the state of West Virginia doesn’t know Noah Broadwater, they will soon.”
Broadwater is no stranger to the big stage of varsity matchups between Keyser and Frankfort. He’s competed at the varsity level in both baseball and gold in various battles for Mineral County supremacy, and even more applicable, played in a varsity matchup between the two squads last season as a freshman after being moved up to the varsity level.
“I think that helped. All my coaches last year kept asking ‘when are we going to pull him up, when are we going to pull him up?’ It was the right time, we were depleted, and we went down to Short Gap and played, and I think Noah was our leading scorer. Playing in the second half of the season down there, it just comes natural to him starting the season this year. And we’ve got him for another two and a half years,” Haines explained.
Broadwater was asked about his performance, and of the importance of the win. Though very humble, Broadwater did acknowledge that he was in somewhat of a zone, feeling good about things as early as in warmups. Nonetheless, the focus was on what he could do for the team.
“I’m just glad we won, Frankfort is a big game. I felt good in warmups. I’ve always been a ball handler, all of Middle School, I never shot the ball, I’ve always been about breaking the press, being able to move quicker than a lot of people. But, I worked everyday last year and some this summer on my shot,” Broadwater stated.
According to Broadwater, “I didn’t want to lose this game. I was doing whatever it takes to win. We beat them by one last year, when I was playing with my brother. This year, I didn’t have that pressure like I did last year.”
While Broadwater’s 33-points represented the biggest performance of the night, solid contributions from his teammates also helped solidify the win. Braydon Keller was next in scoring for Keyser with eight points, followed by six points from Sammy Bradfield, five points from Seth Healy, and four points from Alec Stanislawczyk. Mike Schell’s three points, and Hunter Van Pelt’s one point, rounded out the scoring for the Golden Tornado.
In the loss, Frankfort was led in scoring by an impressive 18-point performance by Tyson Spencer. Spencer was followed in double figures for Frankfort by Cameron Layton with 12 points and Bryson Lane with 11 points. Peyton Slider added eight points, Cameron Lynch seven points, and Luke Robinette three points for the Falcons.
In was another in what has been a string of dramatic, close games between the two Mineral County squads. This year’s Mineral Bowl football game saw Frankfort defeat Keyser in overtime in a game that was just not for bragging rights but also for a spot in the playoffs. In boys’ basketball, Keyser’s 60-59 win represents the third time in the last four tries that a Keyser/Frankfort basketball game has bee decided by one point.