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BIG REBOUND: Keystone Recovers From OT Loss on Wednesday to Dominate on the Glass on Friday in a Home Win Over Moniteau

KNOX, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Cole Henry bulled his way into the paint, pump faked and then put up a shot that clanked off the back of the rim.

Keystone’s 6-foot-4 senior forward snatched the rebound then went up again strong, laying the ball off the glass and through the net.

A whistle blew. Henry was also fouled.

He flexed and screamed in satisfaction.

(Pictured above, Keystone’s Cole Henry)

There would be no denying Henry on this night. There would be no denying Keystone, either, in a 53-37 home victory over Moniteau on Friday.

“With my size, I feel like I can kind of do whatever I want in there if I get positioned,” Henry said. “I feel like if I do that, I can get rebounds and make it easy for us to get points inside.”

Henry had a monster game for the Panthers, who continued their surge. He scored 17 points and also had 15 rebounds in the win.

Keystone dominated on the glass. Aidan Sell also had 16 rebounds for the Panthers.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

“I just feel like I can get anything I want in there, especially with Aidan in there, too,” Henry said. “He takes away a person to get a rebound and I can find the open spot and get it out.”

Keystone got plenty of second and third opportunities as the rebounding margin was about as lopsided as it could be. The Panthers took 63 shots to just 43 for Moniteau.

The game was very much won for Keystone inside.

“We’ve been out rebounded almost every game this year,” said Moniteau coach Mike Jewart. “And we’ve been very lucky that it hasn’t hurt us. Tonight, it destroyed us.”

“We’re a pretty good rebounding team,” said Keystone coach Greg Heath. “(Henry and Sell) are pretty good at rebounding and they’re athletic and very strong. As a whole, we’re a pretty athletic team.”

That was evident on Friday night.

The teams played even in the first quarter with Chase Delarosa-Rugg red hot from the corner for Moniteau, draining three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes for nine of his team-high 11 points.

The Warriors led 17-15 early in the second before Keystone went on a 13-3 run to close the half with a 28-20 lead.

The Panthers led by 13 at the end of the third quarter and by 20 with three minutes remaining in the game.

Kyle Nellis showed off his athleticism with a 16 points, many coming because of his quickness slashing to the rim for layups or hitting floaters as he cut through the lane.

Keystone (8-7) also hurt Moniteau (9-7) with back door cuts to the rim.

“That’s something we talked about,” Jewart said. “That’s why we went out of our zone.”

Keystone has now won seven of its last eight after a 1-6 start.

The only loss during this hot streak was on Wednesday night in overtime at Karns City in a game the Panthers led late in the fourth quarter.

“We’re gaining confidence as the season goes here,” Heath said. “We’re playing hard — that’s a lot of the battle. We just need to keep improving, stay aggressive and try to peak at the right time. It was just a matter of we needed to get connected and as the season has gone on, we have more and more.”

For Moniteau, the loss ended a pretty solid stretch of basketball for the Warriors with wins in five out of their last six games.

Jewart hopes a defeat like this can be turned into something positive moving forward.

“I’m actually not terribly upset about the loss because we probably needed it,” Jewart said. “Maybe it’s a wake up. We’ve been noticing in practices a little bit that we haven’t been quite as sharp. This may be just what we need to refocus us. It’s going to do one of two things. It’s either going to refocus us or it’s going to continue to be an issue.”

A bigger issue going forward may be injuries.

Delarosa-Rugg left the game after hyperextending his knee and hobbled into the locker room with an ice pack on his knee. David Dessicino suffered a hand injury when he banged it while trying to block a shot late in the game. The Warriors were also without key reserve Colton Thomas.

But there is one person who thinks Moniteau will still be there and very dangerous at the end of the season.

Greg Heath.

“I tell you what, they’re a good team,” Heath said. “It’s a very good team. They’re very well coached and I think this was a little hiccup for them tonight. They’re gonna be tough down the stretch here.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.