By Chris Rossetti
KNOX, Pa. – Keystone used a lock-down defense and big nights from McKenna Schick and Madison Johnson to blow past Cameron County 75-22 in the opening round of the District 9 Class A playoff Wednesday night at Keystone.
Schick scored a season-high 19 points, including 15 in the first half, while also pulling down nine rebounds, while Johnson had a monster night scoring 21 points and grabbing 20 rebounds while also scoring her 1,000th career point on a first-quarter free throw. She entered the night at 999 career tallies and finished with 1,020.
“That means a lot, Maddie getting her 1,000th point,” Keystone head coach Barry Foust said. “She is well deserving; Maddie is a hard worker.”
While Johnson’s milestone was celebrated, the night really belonged to the Keystone defense.
The Lady Panthers (16-7) forced 26 Cameron County turnovers and held the Lady Raiders to two second-half points and without a field goal in the game’s final 17:42.
“We wanted to come out and apply pressure,” Foust said. “We’ve been working on it a lot in practice and getting better angles and better positioning. We are just getting better. Defensively, we have been getting better all year.”
Cameron County (12-11) knew Keystone was going to press, but the Lady Raiders were able to do little about it turning the ball over 10 times in the first quarter and 16 times in the first half leading to 18 first-half points off the turnovers for the Lady Panthers.
“We were expecting the press right off the bat,” Cameron County head coach Dave Sullivan said. “It wasn’t anything we didn’t actually prepare for. But until you face it, it’s tough. It’s hard to practice for that type of pressure.”
Three straight Cameron County turnovers late in the first quarter started the Lady Raiders downfall.
Keystone led 7-5 with just under two minutes to play in the quarter before scoring six points in a span of 21 seconds that helped the Lady Panthers go into the second quarter up 17-7.
Then in the second eight minutes, Keystone’s offense exploded pouring in 31 points in the quarter to build a 48-20 halftime lead.
Schick, who hadn’t scored in double digits since Dec. 27 exploded for nine points in the frame giving her 15 in the first half.
“I’m glad for her,” Foust said. “She hasn’t shot very well. So this should help her confidence going into the next round.”
Keystone didn’t let off the gas in the third quarter outscoring Cameron County 18-2 in the quarter and putting the running-clock 40-point mercy rule into motion late in the quarter.
Johnson had nine of her points and nine of her rebounds in the quarter helping Keystone outrebound Cameron County 57-31 on the night including 30 offensive rebounds while Johnson grabbing 11 of those.
“Frankly, we didn’t have an answer for Madison Johnson,” Sullivan said. “She controlled the boards, brought the ball up and she came down and shot it. We started out in a triangle-and-two and we still couldn’t stop her. She is quite a ball player.”
Mallory Reed chipped in 13 points for Keystone, which will take on second-seeded Coudersport at 6 p.m. Friday at Kane High School.
Freshman Madi Guisto, one of two freshman in the starting lineup for Cameron County, led the Lady Raiders with seven points, while Susie Guisto added six and Mallory Lyon five points and nine rebounds.
“We are a young team,” Sullivan said. “Most of the time, we had three freshman on the court, one sophomore and a senior. That was my end-of-game speech. ‘Look girls, we are young. You worked very hard. You should be proud of your record this year.’ That experience out there is extremely valuable. We just have to use it.”
NOTES – The 48 first-half points were more than Cameron County gave up in 15 of its regular-season games this year, while they were more than Keystone scored on nine occasions this year while tying the total the Lady Panthers had in a 48-32 win over Brookville … Cameron County hasn’t won a playoff game since 2005 going 0-6 in postseason play since then.
KEYSTONE 75, CAMERON COUNTY 22
Score by Quarters
Cameron Co. 7 13 2 0 – 22
Keystone 17 31 18 9 – 75
Cameron County – 22
Madi Guisto 2 3-5 7, Madison Harrier 0 1-6 1, Kendyl Guisto 0 0-0 0, Brooke Burfield 1 0-2 3, Delaney Lewis 0 0-0 0, Susie Guisto 2 2-6 6, Amelia Holjencin 0 0-0 0, Cali Housler 0 0-0 0, Mallory Lyon 0 5-8 5. Totals 5 11-27 22.
Keystone – 75
McKenna Schick 9 0-0 19, Kennedy McClendon 2 0-0 4, Mallory Reed 5 2-2 13, Amber Hess 2 2-2 8, Kelly Daugherty 0 0-0 0, Emily Baughman 0 0-0 0, Shayla Chapman 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Beichner 1 0-0 2, Madison Johnson 8 4-8 21, Marina Bowser 1 1-1 3, Kaci Weaver 2 0-0 5, Lexis Twentier 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 9-13 75.
Three-pointers – Cameron County 1 (Burfield). Keystone 6 (Hess 2, Schick, Reed, Johnson, Weaver).