Double OT: Jacob Weinrich scores when Keyser needed him the most
MORGANTOWN - With 13 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, Keyser’s Jacob Weinrich hit a three-point shot from the left side that tied the game 59-59 and ultimately forced a second overtime period. Amazingly, Weinrich had just entered the game for the first time, and those three points, his only points of the night, came when Keyser needed them most.
It was a game Keyser controlled most of the night, until a late charge allowed Trinity Christian to even the score just in time for the end of regulation and force overtime. It looked as though Trinity had the advantage and momentum in overtime, and they did, until Weinrich delivered the goods, and more importantly, the momentum Keyser would need to finish strong and earn the 66-63 victory in double overtime.
“I told the team in the locker room after the game, I had to give him props. He’s a kid that is always encouraging, he works on his game, and for someone to come in an hit a shot like that after not playing the whole game, that’s a credit to him,” Keyser coach Johnny Haines stated.
“He works on his shot, that is his game, and he’s been a great contributor to us winning all these games down the stretch. Maybe you don’t see it with the minutes he’s played, but the shots he’s made, there’s been no bigger shots than the ones by Jacob Weinrich,” Haines explained.
Weinrich’s shot sparked the momentum shift Keyser needed. With the game tied 59-59 after the first overtime session, the Golden Tornado outscored Trinity seven to four in the final minutes to earn the three-point victory in the second overtime.
“I have to give credit to the kids, they came out in the second overtime, all game really, and gave 110 percent effort. We stepped up the pressure, we went back to our one-three-one trap, Noah (Broadwater) got some transition points, we got big shots from a few people, had a few keys steals, and just stepped up the pressure. They wanted it more than Trinity did,” Haines explained.
According to Haines, “It’s great to be 2-0 in the section and it’s a great, tough win, but it’s still discouraging when you have a 15-point lead at halftime and let them fight to get back in it. I told the kids, they can’t quit, and mentally is where we need to pick it up as a team. In the third quarter, I thought mentally we were way down, but obviously they have it in them, if they want to, to pull out a big win like this.”
At the end of one quarter of play, the two teams were knotted up at 9-9. A huge, 19-4 Keyser scoring advantage in the second quarter gave the Golden Tornado a 28-13 lead at the half. Trinity dominated the third quarter to the tune of 20-12 and cut the Keyser lead to seven points, 40-33, entering the fourth quarter. An 18-11 Trinity advantage ultimately tied the game at 51-51 and forced overtime.
“In the second half, Noah wasn’t getting looks, they went more-pressure heavy on us and it hurt us. They then got some transition points and our defense wasn’t where it needed to be,” Haines stated.
It took two overtime periods, but Keyser would ultimately regain control and earn the win.
Noah Broadwater led the way with a game-high 20 points, with five of those points coming in the second overtime period when Keyser needed them the most. Jack Stanislawczyk was next for Keyser with 13 points, followed by Hunter VanPelt with nine points, and Sammy Bradfield with eight points. In addition, Mike Schell had five points, Braydon Keller four points, Jacob Weinrich three points, and Drew Matlick and Lonnie Pridemore two points each.
In the loss, Luckas Kniska led the way for Trinity with 15 points, and was followed in double figures by Jaylon Hill, Aaron White, and Peyton Dixon, all three with 12 points apiece.
The victory now elevates Keyser’s overall record to 4-1, and 2-0 in the section with sectional wins over Hampshire and now Trinity Christian. Trinity Christian competes at the AA level in girls’ basketball and in AAA in boys’ basketball.
Haines likes the addition of Trinity Christian to the section, “It’s good for us to get a little travel under our belt, and being out here in Morgantown getting a win shows other teams in the region and state that we can compete with these teams and puts Keyser on the map a little more. But hopefully when they come back to Keyser it’s not as hard to get that win.”
Keyser will enjoy a few days off over Christmas now and will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 30, at East Fairmont.