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Oh, brother - Younger Keimig steps in for Knights

December 23, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Middletown has shown it has a bit more punch in its lineup than just John Keimig.

The Knights need it in order to compete and for the second straight game since John Keimig went down with a broken wrist Dec. 16, others have stepped to the forefront, including his brother, Joe.

Coming off a career-high, 24-point performance in a victory over Catoctin, Joe Keimig scored 20 on Monday night to lead No. 8 Middletown over Williamsport 60-53, handing the Wildcats their first loss in five outings.

The junior guard, who had his older brother's No. 10 inscribed on his socks, led three Knights in double figures despite feeling ill during the day and the game. At one point in the third period, he headed to the sidelines with an upset stomach.

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"Without (John) here we just try not to think about it and I think we can play well without him," Joe Keimig said. "He is obviously a tremendous player, but we've had others step up."

Included in that group were senior forward Kyle Lear, who was 7-for-10 from the field and had 16 points, all but two in the second half. Sophomore forward Patrick Carney added 11 points (seven in the fourth period) and six rebounds.

"(Carney) has been a little soft lately but he really picked it up tonight and was dominant," Knights coach Jon Jarrett said. "Lear probably had his best all-around game. He kept us in the game."

Middletown (4-1), which must go at least another three weeks without John Keimig, trailed 5-3 briefly in the first quarter on a Wildcats basket by Phillip Jordan.

Deadlocked 7-7, Joe Keimig drilled a 3-pointer from deep in the right corner and Jonathan Hall followed with another 3 as the Knights took a 14-9 lead after eight minutes.

Keimig had a 10-point second period that helped offset a seven-point period by Williams-port's Will Roney, including a 3-pointer for an 18-16 lead with 3:52 left in the half.

Keimig converted the first of three three-point plays by the Knights on the way to a 30-24 halftime lead.

Middletown slowly extended the lead to 54-44 with 2:40 to play on a basket by Carney off a Williamsport turnover.

The Wildcats were hammered on the glass by the Knights, who pulled down 15 offensive boards, and fell prey to Middletown's pressure defense, which forced 19 Wildcats turnovers.

"(Middletown) was the first team that end-to-end, really put defensive pressure in our face," said Williamsport coach Deron Crawford, who was looking to get the Wildcats off to its best start since a 5-1 open in 1999-2000. "They just got too much off the offensive glass and they made our guys fight for everything they got."

Roney led the Wildcats with 17 points with 7 of 12 shooting while David Warrenfeltz added 13, including a pair of 3s in the waning moments when the Wildcats continued to fight back. Jordan had 10 rebounds.

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