SULLIVAN TWP. — The Black River boys basketball team did all of the things coach Randy Endsley II asked it to do on defense.
There was one big thing the Pirates were unable to do — find a way to score points.
With 6-foot-8 center Jonathan Herb clogging the lane Friday, Black River forced Keystone to rely on outside shooting and guards Drake Rodick and Ethan Sokolowski came through in a 58-32 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division game.
“We wanted to try to set the tempo, so we came out and tried to control the ball early,” Endsley said. “We did a good job of that, and we did a good job on defense. We just didn’t make any shots.”
Black River (1-13, 0-10) won the opening tip and held the ball for two minutes. The strategy worked, as Keystone (11-4, 6-3) was without a field goal for the first 4:25 until Sokolowski (game-high 16 points) hit an open 3-pointer.
Although Black River took Keystone out of rhythm, the Pirates only connected on five first-half field goals and went into the locker room trailing 27-14.
“Our goal was to keep (Keystone) in the low 50s and they score a couple of buckets in the final seconds, so for the most part we did what we wanted to do,” Endsley said. “It was frustrating that we just weren’t able to do more on the offensive end.”
Herb and 6-5 forward River Wheeler led the Pirates with 10 points each. Herb also led Black River with nine rebounds and did a good job of helping limit Keystone leading scorer Brody Kuhl to five points.
Rodick also scored 15 points and combined with Sokolowski for five of Keystone’s six 3-pointers.
The Pirates shot 28 percent (12-for-43).
“We got a lot of open looks,” Endsley said. “Caleb (Poldruhi) got some stop and pops. We did a good job of getting the ball inside to Herb. There was just nothing falling for us. We just did execute those shots.”
Kyler Foster scored a team-high eight points and Matthew Colegrove hit a pair of 3-pointers for the Black River junior varsity in a 46-28 loss.
Contact Todd Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black River 32
KEYSTONE 12 15 17 14 — 58
BLACK RIVER 7 7 8 10 — 32
Keystone — Drake Rodick 6-0-15, Brody Kuhl 1-2-5, Jeremy Gerhardinger 3-0-6, Ethan Sokolowski 7-0-16, Kevin Mealwitz 1-1-3, Matt Mealwitz 2-0-6, Johnny Saxton 0-0-0, Ashton Waite 0-0-0, Mason Strader 1-1-3, Dylan Naylor 0-0-0, Jacob Shackelford 0-0-0, Jacob Saxton 2-0-4. TOTALS: 24-4-58.
Black River — Zach Hawley 1-2-4, River Wheeler 4-2-10, Jonathan Herb 5-0-10, Garrett Hord 0-0-0, Caleb Poldruhi 2-0-5, Chris Valentine 0-0-0, Devan McLean 0-0-0, Jacob Reinhardt 0-1-1, Russell Schultz 0-0-0, Kyler Foster 0-0-0, Brennen Scheck 0-0-0, Caleb Simonson 0-2-2. TOTALS: 12-7-32.
3-point goals — Rodick 3, Sokolowski 2, Kuhl, Poldruhi. Rebounds — Keystone 36, Black River 25. Records — Keystone (11-4, 6-3), Black River (1-13, 0-10). Junior varsity — Keystone 46, Black River 28.