Keith High Bears top Holy Spirit, going to regionals

Published 12:07 am Saturday, February 16, 2013

ORRVILLE — The No. 4 Keith Bears cruised to a 76-40 win over Holy Spirit on Friday in a Central Sub-Regional playoff, and now advances on to the Central Regional Tournament in Montgomery.

Tommy Tisdale, head boys basketball coach of Keith (20-10, ranked No. 4 in Class 1A), said the Bears set the tone early against an opponent that was relatively unknown, as Keith ended the first quarter ahead 23-3.

“To our credit, we came out with intensity like none other. I didn’t have a chance to get any game film on them and I had maybe three scouting reports, and all three of them scared me. So, without knowing much about them, in practice we just kind of worked on what we do,” Tisdale said. “I just told the guys we’re going to do what we do and try to do it to perfection. Tonight, we got that 20-point lead at the end of the first and at halftime it was 38-12.”

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Tisdale added that it’s a big win for the Bears after not getting this far last season just one year after a trip to the state final four.

“Tonight’s win is huge. Every win from here on out is big,” Tisdale said. “It’s down to 16 teams left, and I’m happy to be one of them. I told the guys to enjoy the win because this is a feeling we didn’t have last year. I’ve still got a few guys that know how it feels to go to the regionals and understand where we are, and a few seniors that understand and will keep us level. It’s a tremendous feeling to still be playing basketball.”

Rodney Ellis led Keith in Friday’s win with 17 points, six rebounds and two steals, while Demond Holmes had 11 points and six rebounds.

Maurice Crumpton had 10 points and 7 rebounds off the bench for Keith, and John Pettway filled the stat sheet with 8 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Keith now sets its sights on the Class 1A Central Regional Tournament at Alabama State University’s Acadome, as they’ll play on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

The Keith girls will also play on Monday in Montgomery at 6 p.m.