The Kings play Tipton annually but hadn’t beat them since 2005. They got them twice this season including a 55-47 win for the regional championship, their second in school history and first since 2003.
Keisling scored a team-high 13 in the Tipton win. After battling heavy foul trouble in the first half, the Kings built up a lead in the second. Then, like they had done all season after building a late lead, they weaved a web a death for their opponent with Keisling, Hadley and Ryan Bixler — all three strong ball-handlers — running the weave.
Next up was Westview at the semistate. While the Kings had been able to overcome a size disadvantage against opponents all season, Westview was able to control the tempo for the most part and take advantage inside.
But the Kings never went away and got to within three points on a Keisling 3-ball with 1:51 left in the contest.
Instead of holding the ball to kill some clock or waiting for a foul, Westview’s Jamar Miller drilled a quick 3 out of a timeout.
If the shot would have missed the Kings had the momentum and very well might have won which would have earned them a spot in the state finals. But instead the shot went in which led to their defeat.
“Their coach called it,” Keisling said. “He called a timeout and calls that play an my dad calls it a very gutsy play. And it’s true. It was a gutsy play. He called it, Weaver goes to the corner, hits a 3 and swishes a 3. It was a dagger. It was a dagger.”
Keisling scored a game-high 20 in the contest.
“It was just a game we couldn’t hit as much as we could. And they scouted us real well. Their coach was good,” Keisling said. “But we still got in the lane. Sometimes me and Hadley, we would just drive. I remember one time I had [Chandler] Aspy in front of me, [Jordyn] Bontrager on my left, I had about three guys on me and I somehow finished on the block.