FOXBURG, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Luke Cramer made sure Zach Kepple’s head coaching debut was a good one.
Cramer scored 24 points — 19 in the first half — as the Karns City boys basketball team rolled to a 64-30 win over Portersville Christian School at the A-C Valley tip-off tournament Friday night.
“He was shooting lights out,” Kepple said. “He was doing it from all angles — shooting threes, high post, driving to the hoop. He played a really good game tonight.”
Cramer, a sophomore, helped Karns City jump out to a 24-8 lead after the first quarter. The Gremlins cruised the rest of the way.
Kepple took over this season for Chris Bellis, who stepped down after 12 years as the boys basketball coach at Karns City. During his tenure, the Gremlins won 150 games and were 23-3 last season.
Kepple is hoping to pick up where last year’s team left off.
The Gremlins lost all-time leading scorer Chase Beighley to graduation and also said goodbye to big man Nathan Waltman, who is playing football at Slippery Rock University.
Kepple hoped someone would step up.
Cramer did in the opener.
Kepple is also looking for balanced scoring. The Gremlins got some of that Friday night.
Micah Rupp added 12 points and Cole Sherwin 11 for Karns City, which will play North East at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s a really good start,” Kepple said. “We came out with a lot of energy and created turnovers, which led to a lot of easy points. We played high energy all game and dominated on the glass. The best part is the kids played so hard.”