KEOTA — It is too bad for the Keota Eagles boys team that a high school basketball game is 32 minutes long with four quarters of 8 minutes each.
The Eagles spotted Washington a 22-8 lead after one quarter, then gave up the first seven points of the second quarter for a 21-point deficit.
It was still a 43-26 advantage for the Demons at halftime, but just 54-46 after the third quarter and the game ended with the Demons on top 67-63.
A Luke Hammen basket gave the Eagles the only lead of the game at 4-2.
“We did not come out with the fire that we needed to,” Keota coach Dan Stout said. “We just let them do what they wanted to do.”
Six different Demons scored in the first quarter and Ethan Hunt had 10 points by halftime.
“We played so well that first quarter that I think we kind of got comfortable,” Washington coach Collin Stark said. “Our defensive effort was up here to start the game.”
That effort held Keota’s leading scorer, JD Stout, without a shot in the first quarter and he had just six points at halftime.
“That (Cade) Hennigan was doing a nice job on defense,” Coach Stout said. “He was a little taller kid than we were used to guarding him. He was able to contest a lot of things.”
A portent of things to come — Keota scored the first five points of the second half and Stout hit a 3-pointer for the first points of the third quarter.
“It seems like at halftime, we decided we wanted to play, then we played pretty good,” Coach Stout said. “You have to come out with that fire and that passion in the beginning. We just did not have it early on.”
Washington still led 50-34 when Stout made his second triple of the quarter, but a conventional three-point play and buckets by Brady Duwa and Carson Sprouse got the deficit down to single digits, prompting a timeout from Stark with 3 minutes, 14 seconds to go in the third.
“We didn’t really change anything at halftime except the kids changed their mentality and changed their effort,” Coach Stout said. “They decided they were going to go get some stops. We went straight man to man pretty much the whole second half. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. We were just too far behind.”
“We got to thinking things were going to come easy like they did in the first quarter, but credit to Keota for the way they came back,” Stark said. “They made some shots.”
Keota stole the ball out of the timeout, but Hennigan stole it back and converted the layup, then stole the inbounds pass.
“Cade is one of those guys that you can count on to be in the right spot and to do the right thing,” Stark said.
Stout canned another triple before the quarter ended.
“Once he got rolling, though, he got rolling,” Coach Stout said about his son, JD. “We certainly made it interesting.
“As the game went on, I thought we became too concerned with covering a certain individual,” Stark said. “We were not making sure to stick to our defensive principles. We got sloppy on the defensive end and then that translated into the offensive end.” If Keota just counted the last 20 minutes of the game, it would have won by double digits.
“We talked about it being a moral victory with the kids, but we don’t take those,” Coach Stout said. “I was happy with the way we played the second half. We did a nice job. We stepped up and made some nice plays, but we need to eliminate some mistakes here and there.”
Washington scored the first four points of the final period for a 58-46 advantage.
Keota went on a 10-3 run with triples from Sprouse and baskets by Duwa and Stout.
Preston McDonald’s trey with 3:28 remaining made it 63-59. Two missed Washington free throws and a bucket by Stout made it 63-61. A rebound by Hammen and Keota had a chance to tie or take the lead.
“We turned the ball over too many times,” Coach Stout said. “We got it down to two and turned the ball over.”
Trevor Quigley sank two free throws to get the Demons’ lead up to four.
Washington subsequently missed twice on the front end of one-and-bonus attempts, but forced missed shots by Keota. Quigley sank two more foul shots with 14 seconds left for a 6-point lead.
Stout finished with 24 points.
“We were focused on him and to be honest, I thought we did a great job,” Stark said. “He got more and more comfortable as the game went on. Then he got going with some transition scores and once you let a scorer get going, the hoop just becomes a lot bigger for them. I thought that their role players hurt us more than he did.”
Sprouse finished with 12 points. Duwa had eight and Austin Waterhouse nine.
Keota’s three-game win streak ends and its record is 8-6 with Sigourney visiting Tuesday.
Quigley finished with 13 points and Hennigan 12. Brock Sobaski added nine points off the bench.
Washington’s record is 3-6 with a Saturday home game against Iowa Mennonite School.
“This is a great spot for us to go 1-0 and hopefully it will catapult us into playing well against IMS and we have Davis County after that,” Stark said. “This year, we haven’t been able to get a second win after a first.”