Keck bring balls up floor

Hayden Keck brings the ball up the floor during the Coudersport Falcons season opening win over Otto Eldred on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Needing 26 points coming into the game, Coudersport’s Hayden Keck drained a three-pointer from the left wing at the 45-second mark in the third quarter to become the 12th boy in Coudersport history to score 1,000 career points and led the Falcons to a 70-45 win over visiting Otto-Eldred.

The milestone three-pointer was one of three that Keck made on the night, as he led the Falcons in scoring with 28.

“It feels amazing,” Keck said. “I wanted to hit it as soon as possible. Games have been getting canceled the day they have been scheduled, so you don’t know what is going to happen. I just wanted to get it over with.”

With Hayden scoring just seven points in the first half, he thought he may not be able to reach it with one half left.

“I didn’t think I had played the best in the first half and wanted to go out a little more,” Keck said. “I didn’t wanna force shots, I just wanted it to happen on its own.”

He also mentioned that he didn’t know he reached it until the game was stopped after the shot to congratulate him.

“I didn’t know exactly how close I was. I was just shooting it. I shot it, it went in, and we were backpedaling down the court. After a couple of seconds, the game stopped. Then I knew,” Keck said. “This is something I have always wanted to achieve and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates all four years.”

Head coach Scott Easton wanted to make sure Keck reached the milestone while also keeping focus on the game itself.

“Going into the game, we wanted to get him as many shots as we could without jeopardizing the outcome of the game,” Easton said. We were also really trying to push it because we could be shut down at any time. To start the third quarter, I mentioned to the kids that we needed to focus on basketball but obviously look for Hayden at the same time. Hayden really took over the third quarter as far as good penetration and coming up with steals and then his milestone shot. He really takes advantage of his athleticism on defense and his rebounding to give himself and the rest of the team good scoring opportunities.”

Keck joined his older sister, Haley Keck, who reached 1,000 points in 2017 and finished with 1,493.

As for the game itself, the Falcons started slow in the first quarter and found themselves down 9-4, but closed the quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 14-9 lead.

“We needed to do a better job with help side defense,” Easton said. “Jake Merry for Otto-Eldred penetrated our man-to-man defense and then we rotated the guys away from the ball so we could get some steals which leaked out into some transition opportunities,” Easton said.

The Falcons then found themselves behind 17-14, but another big scoring run of 18-2 to close out the first half seemed to be the difference in helping Coudersport pull away with a 32-19 halftime advantage.

“We knew Otto-Eldred was going to come and play hard with solid defense while taking advantage from transition, so the two big scoring runs were crucial,” Easton said.

Coudersport then maintained and extended their lead during the remainder of the contest to roll to their first win.

In addition to Keck’s 28 points, Dalton Keglovits tacked on 13 while Brandt Kightlinger and Christian Furman scored eight apiece.

For the Terrors, Jake Merry hit three three-pointers and went 7/7 from the free throw line to score 20 points.

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