Golden Tornado defense stifles Trojans
KEYSER — The Trojans stormed into Tornado Alley last week sporting a 4-2 record with visions of picking up Danny Alkire’s first road win in his coaching career.
What a difference a week makes.
Those dreams quickly faded as the Golden Tornado flexed their defensive muscle holding Hampshire to single digits in 3 out of 4 quarters en route to a decisive 49-34 victory.
“I saw a lack of focus and a lack of concentration and that starts with me,” Coach Alkire stated after the game.
“I didn’t have our guys ready or prepared for the game and it’s going to get better moving forward.”
Although Coach Alkire shouldered responsibility for the poor performance, credit should be given to Keyser for their outstanding 1-3-1 defensive play which kept Hampshire from establishing a rhythm offensively.
“Keyser played a 1-3-1 and they played it well. Not taking credit away from Keyser, but we did not move, we did not flash, we did not hit the open lane, and we weren’t in the positions that we were supposed to be in,” Coach Alkire explained.
The Golden Tornado’s stingy 1-3-1 defense set the tone for the game and offensively Keyser took advantage of mismatches all over the court.
Shawn See, the 7-foot big man down low, was a matchup nightmare as he pulled down rebounds with ease and scored 10 points off of 4 field goals and 2 free throws.
The athletic and speedy Amare Kennedy led the scoring attack for Keyser finishing with 13 points while his brother P.J. Kennedy added 7 points.
Senior point guard Ryan Shoemaker also finished in double-digits dropping in two 3-pointers, two free throws, and a field goal for a total of 10 points.
Darrick Broadwater showed off his explosive ability with a slam-dunk that brought fans to their feet and he finished the game with a total of 7 points.
Trevor Sardo led the Trojans scoring 8 points while Drew Keckley finished with 7. Carter Smith, Christian Hicks, and Matt Kerns all finished with 4 points.
Not only did Hampshire fail to create open shots, they struggled from the charity stripe as well going 4-for-11 (36%).
Losing on the road is not a new phenomenon for Hampshire, as they have not tasted victory since Feb. 20, 2018, a win at Petersburg 60-49.
What will it take to get the monkey off the back?
“I have no idea. I don’t know what it is,” said Coach Alkire.
“Maybe its that we don’t feel as confident as we do at home, but if I knew the answer to that one maybe we would be 6-0 right now,” Alkire said with a smile.
The Trojans (4-3) are back in action at home tonight against the Sentinels of Fort Hill with tipoff at 7:30 p.m. o