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Keystone 67, Lutheran West 64
By Peter Koza  | staff
Friday, December 9, 2011

When junior Chris Ranc’s three bounced off the rim as the buzzer when off, two distinctly different sounds were audible in the Rock Gymnasium at Lutheran West. First you could hear the groans from Lutheran West fans who had just seen their teams bid for an upset fall just short. Second, you could hear the sounds of the Keystone fans collectively sighing in relief as they finally shook of the pesky Longhorns’ attempt to knock them off.  
The game came down to one shot. Keystone, who was at the line for two shots with 4.3 seconds left and a two point lead, bumped their lead to three points when the shooter missed his first free throw and made the second.  The ball was inbounded to Ranc, but he couldn’t find an open pass, dribbling down to the right wing of the three point arc. While his shot was a bit off balance, he had a reasonable look. The shot was just a little off.
What is remarkable is that the Longhorns came that close to ending up with a victory. The Longhorns finished with eighteen turnovers, allowed eight points off of offensive rebounds, shot 53% from the foul line, and allowed Keystone to get to the line thirty-three times.  Too many extra possessions for Keystone and poor foul shooting for the Longhorns spelled doom for Lutheran West. 
One momentum-changing moment came at the end of the third quarter. The Longhorns were on a run and had closed Keystone’s lead to just two points. The Longhorns had a fast-break opportunity but senior Shane Elkins missed a three point shot from the left wing. That miss gave the ball back to the Wildcats with twenty-two seconds left in the quarter, allowing them to score a basket before the buzzer. Keystone then started the fourth quarter with a four point lead, rather than a possible tie situation or the Longhorns up by one.
“Our guys showed a lot of determination,” said Longhorn coach Alan Januzzi. “They hung in tough and put themselves in a position to win against a very good team.” 

Elkins scored 19 to pace the Longhorns.  Ranc and junior Dan Hillenbrand added 16 for the Longhorns.
Tue 12/6/11
L, 61-49
Fri 12/9/11
L, 67-64
Tue 12/13/11
L, 67-59
Fri 12/16/11
W, 68-60
Tue 12/20/11
W, 57-44
2011-12 Coach Alan Januzzi
2011-12 through 2014-15

Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

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