By CRAIG HALL
HOWE—Howe’s boys enjoyed an easy win earlier in the season at Keota.
That certainly wasn’t the case Tuesday as Howe escaped with a 58-56 over the visitors. In the earlier game of the night, Howe’s girls improved to 14-1 with a 57-27 victory.
Howe’s boys blistered Keota, 78-35, in a game Dec. 2 at Keota, but were in a struggle throughout.
The shots weren’t falling for the hosts and too many turnovers almost cost Howe the win. The two teams kept swapping the lead throughout the second half until Howe’s Jared Brown made a driving layup with 1:20 left to break a tie and give the hosts a 56-54 lead.
Nathan Hill hit one of two free throws with 25 seconds left for a three-point lead, but Keota’s Shiloh Wins answered with a pair of free throws to narrow the margin to 57-56.
Howe missed a pair of free throws, giving Keota a chance but the visitors turned the ball over and had to foul Brown, who made one of two to increase the lead to 58-56 with only three seconds left.
Keota’s shot from beyond halfcourt missed as the buzzer sounded, ending the game and allowing Howe to win.
Stephen Helmondollar led Howe, now 10-5, with 17 points while Brown added 15. Justin Laney paced Keota with 15 points while Jacob Bennett had 14 and Kyle Matlock 11.
Howe’s girls dominated play early to take a double-digit lead. Keota cut the margin to 17-11 in the second quarter but Howe ended the quarter on a 13-0 run to build a 30-11 lead at halftime.
Ninth-ranked Howe continued its run through the middle of the third quarter, outscoring Keota 23-5 to up the lead to 40-16 and the hosts coasted to the victory. Abigail McGarrah scored Howe’s first nine points of the third quarter en route to a game-high 16 points.
Howe also got 12 points from Brianna Hillebrand. Keota was led by Justice Shepherd’s 13 points. Jade Carey added 11.
Keota at Howe boxscores