The Coudersport boys basketball team is hoping to once again pick up where they left off after another usual strong showing last season.

The Falcons finished the 2019-20 season with a record of 20-5 while finishing third in the district, defeating Keystone 58-45 at Clarion University on Feb. 29 to claim the third spot. Keystone was originally the #1 seed heading into the D9 playoffs before losing to Clarion, 54-50.

It was the Falcons’ first time not playing in the D9 Championship game since the 2015-16 season, due to a 39-29 setback to Ridgway at Bradford High School after previously defeating the Elkers on the road, 50-39.

The Falcons also had a five-year 77-game NTL winning streak snapped at Cameron County, 40-35, after dominating the Red Raiders at home earlier in the season, 71-38. However, the Falcons went on to win the NTL for the fifth straight season.

Coudersport returns three strong starters to the lineup, all seniors.

Point guard Hayden Keck (16.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.0 apg) is expected to have an exciting season right away, as he is just 26 points away from the 1,000-point milestone.

Head coach Scott Easton is expecting to have Keck excel in scoring and offense this year.

“Hayden is one of the more athletic players in the district and has the ability to take over a game. Hayden will look to continue to lead us in scoring. Coudersport will continue to utilize his ability to get him into open spaces so he can use his skillset to create and take advantage of his ability to turn into instance offense,” Easton said.

Another returning starter is point guard Dalton Keglovits (5.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.2 apg) who is expected to turn his defense into offense with his speed.

“Dalton is our quickest player and best defender and will look to turn his defense into offense. Dalton will look to utilize his quickness while chasing down loose balls and rebounding, and will look to get into transition and shoot threes when left open,” Easton said.

Shooting guard Derek Easton (4.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg) also returns.

“Derek will look to utilize his ability to see the floor in transition to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. Derek will also be looking to shoot open threes and get to the rim more to take advantage of his size and being able to handle the ball,” Easton said.

The Falcons lost a lot of scoring, strength and toughness to graduating players last season in Kolby VanWhy, Travis Gleason, Dillon Keglovits, Daniel Frame, Matthew Daniels and Jaheim Murray.

“Those guys played many important roles on the floor and it will be tough to replace,” Easton said. “We are hoping guys can step up and provide us with the rebounding and physical toughness which is needed to be able to compete this year.”

The following are key newcomers and what head coach Scott Easton expects them to bring to the table this season.

Small forward Christian Furman, a junior. Christian will look to utilize his ability to run the floor and to shoot threes.

Small forward Garrett Kellert, a junior. Garrett will look to tenacity to run down loose balls, out hustle others to create chaos and rebound.

Small forward Brady Streich, a junior. Brady will look to take advantage of his ability to shoot threes and to out work his opponents.

Logan Ruter, a junior. Logan will look to use his strength to play defense physically and to run the floor in transition.

Power forward Brandt Kightlinger, a senior. Brandt will look to rebound and create scoring opportunities by hustling on defense and running the floor in transition.

Wyatt Skillman, a sophomore. Wyatt is looking to use his quickness in transition to create scoring opportunities for him and his teammates.

Easton looks to stay with the same game plan that has been successful over the past several years.

“The keys to Coudersport over the past several years is applying pressure, creating turnovers, rebounding and transition. We need to continue to try to push the ball, maintain proper spacing on offense to spread the floor which will create open shot attempts for our players. We are going to need several players to step up to fill the void of our graduating players from last year,” Easton said.

The Falcons open their season on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at home against Otto-Eldred.

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