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Ion Helps Keystone Boys’ Hold off A-C Valley

Saturday, January 7, 2017 @ 12:01 AM

Posted by Shane Lux

Austin-Ion-Keystone-Mike-SchnelleFOXBURG, Pa. (D9Sports) – Keystone used a strong start and an even better finish to win its seventh straight, 64-36, over A-C Valley Friday night in Foxburg.

(Photo of Keystone’s Austin Ion. Photo by Mike Schnelle. Check out more of Schnelle’s work here)

Austin Ion lead the way for the Panthers scoring a game-high 25 points including 12 in the fourth quarter where Keystone outscored the Falcons 28-9.

“I thought the final score was no indication of the type of game it was,” said Keystone head coach Greg Heath. “I thought they outplayed us. I thought they played harder than us. I thought they played smarter than us. I have nothing but great things to say about A-C Valley.”

Keystone started off strong as the Panthers built a 17-7 lead at the end of first quarter as the shot 7-of-12 from the field.

Joe Manculich who scored 21 of the Falcons 36 points had all seven in the first frame for the Falcons.

The second quarter was a different story – A-C Valley’s spirited play combined with a series of mistakes from Keystone kept the Panthers from extending their lead at halftime as they lead 24-14.

Keystone committed 19 turnovers including seven in the second quarter. It did not hit a field goal in the quarter until Ion’s 3-pointer with 3:12 remaining until halftime.

“I didn’t think tonight we were in any kind of rhythm,” said Heath. “That was not a well-played game, but we’re always happy to get the win. We’ll take it, but there are some things we really need to work on.”

Manculich helped keep the Falcons hopes alive at an upset as he scored 10 points in the third quarter were A-C Valley outscored Keystone 13-12 pulling them to within 36-27 after three.

As the fourth quarter began, Kody Wolfe had a steal and a layup to start things off on the right foot for A-C Valley.

Unfortunately for the Falcons it was all the closer they would get as Keystone outscored them 28-6 from that point.

The Panthers shot 10-of-14 in the fourth quarter from the field as well as 6-of-8 from the line. A-C Valley shot just 2-of-22 from three-point land in the game.

Ion hit five of his nine field goals in the final quarter as he scored 12 in the fourth.

“We really started to calm down and organize on offense, move the ball and attack the basket -you know, doing the things that we’ve been doing all year,” said Heath. “I guess we had to wait until the fourth quarter to do it tonight. But that’s a credit to them; they played hard tonight – they played scrappy. I was really impressed with the Falcons tonight.

Keystone 64 A-C Valley 36

Score by Quarters

Keystone 17 7 12 28 – 64

A-C Valley 7 7 13 9 – 36

Keystone: Corey Rapp 3-1-2-8, Nate Wingard 4-4-5-12, Dalton Jones 4-12, Tanner Wilson 2-4, Austin Ion 9-5-7-25, Brooks LaVan 1-3.

A-C Valley: Joe Manculich 9-3-3-21, Russell Carr 2-3-3-8, Jeff Ginn 0-1-1-1, Kody Wolfe 2-1-2-6

Three-Point FG’s: Keystone – Ion 2, Jones 4, LaVan 1, Rapp 1. A-C Valley – Wolfe 1, Carr 1.

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