Basketball notes - Knights survive, thrive

January 16, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

When Middletown's John Keimig went down with a broken wrist in a 77-55 loss at South Hagerstown on Dec. 16, it seemed like a crippling blow to the Knights.

Instead, Middletown has come together as a team and put together an impressive 5-1 mark since the loss of its best player.

John's brother, Joe Keimig, set the stage with outings of 24 and 20 points in the Knights' first two games following the injury, wins over Catoctin and Williamsport. Jonathan Hall, Zach Miss, Kyle Lear and Patrick Carney also have stepped up with double-digit scoring games to help keep Middletown's ship afloat.


"I've been real pleased with how our team's responded and how hard they've played with the loss of John," Knights coach Jon Jarrett said. "All of them have had their games where they've all stepped up, and that's what we have to do right now. It will be a different player that scores our points every night."

While John Keimig could cure any offensive woes with the flick of his wrist from beyond the 3-point line or by creating his own offense off the dribble, Middletown has had to become more disciplined in running its sets.

"Offensively, we just have to be a lot more patient now," Jarrett said. "A lot of times John created stuff, and now we don't get that stuff right away so we have to be patient and get an open shot."

When John Keimig returns - according to Jarrett, the cast on his right wrist will be removed in mid-February, when he can begin practicing again - it could be just the boost the Knights need come playoff time.

"A lot of our players have definitely improved as they've gotten a lot more minutes," Jarrett said. "When John does come back, hopefully we can get a run going heading into the playoffs."

On the rise ...

  • James Buchanan's boys started the season 0-6 but since have won eight of nine, including the last six.

    Senior forward Drew Hostler, the MVP of the JB Christmas Tournament, is averaging 16.3 points and 12.4 rebounds per game for the Rockets.

  • Thomas Johnson's boys have won eight straight since losing their opener. The Patriots will be tested Saturday at Chambersburg in the Mason-Dixon Shootout.

    Drew Gaeng, Jair Brady and Colby Jackson have been at the heart of everything for TJ.

    Brady has been in double figures in each of the eight victories, while Jackson has reached double figures in six of them.

    Gaeng, the team's only returning starter from last season, runs the show from the point.

  • Hedgesville's girls are on a five-game winning streak, and their two losses this season - to Walkersville and University - are to extremely talented squads.

    The Eagles made a statement in the Eastern Panhandle by beating Martinsburg 53-47 eight days ago. The rematch is Wednesday.

    Taking the fall ...

  • Greencastle's boys have dropped six of seven to fall seven games under .500.

  • Martinsburg's girls lost games to University, Keyser and Hedgesville in the past eight days to fall under .500.
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