LOCUST GROVE —
A lackluster shooting effort was too much to overcome as Keys fell 70-58 to Ketchum in the semifinals of the Locust Grove Invitational Thursday inside Pirate Arena.
The Cougars shot a respectable 37 percent (22-for-59) from the field overall, but a 1-for-19 (five percent) outing from 3-point territory and a 13-for-29 effort at the free-throw line (45 percent) proved to be their undoing.
“Our shooting percentage was horrendous, but we were still in the game,” Keys coach Duane Jones said. “We had some chances to score, but we just didn’t capitalize on those opportunities.”
Trevor Eubanks led Keys with 20 points, but he was 0-for-10 from downtown and just 4-for-9 at the line. Payton Ragsdale added 18 points before fouling out.
“Trevor is not going 0-for-10 from three very often,” Jones said. “Usually if he takes 10, even on a bad shooting night, he makes four. He’s a good shooter, and he just has to keep shooting.”
Ketchum scored at a 53-percent clip (24-for-45), while making 41 percent from downtown (7-for-17) and 79 percent at the charity stripe (15-for-19).
The Warriors were powered by their two-headed monster of Tanner Mouse and Jeylyn Sharpe. The duo combined for 54 points on 18-of-27 shooting.
“I knew Sharpe was one of the better players in the area. He can really play, and he’s pretty tough” Jones said. “Mouse surprised me a little bit. He hit some big shots even when we were up in his face.”
The Warriors built a slight 11-7 advantage after the first quarter and, despite committing the first nine fouls of the contest, found themselves leading 34-27 at intermission. They outscored Keys 20-10 in the third quarter and did not allow the Cougars to get closer than seven points in the fourth.