‘This is surreal’: Keller basketball stuns North Crowley in regional quarterfinal

Keller got the best of North Crowley in a battle between the two best Class 6A boys basketball teams in the greater Fort Worth-area, securing a 71-66 regional quarterfinal victory on Tuesday at Saginaw High School.

“This is pretty surreal,” Keller head coach Zach Weir said. “I’m so proud of the kids.”

In the games final moments, North Crowley had a chance to tie with a three pointer, and freshman superstar Isaak Hayes had the ball in his hands. Hayes was stripped by Keller guard Quinn Estep, and the Indians sealed the win.

The two basketball juggernauts have created a big time rivalry with the Panthers getting the upper hand in an 80-78 overtime win last season. This time around, the Indians capitalized in the games’ final moments after both squads traded punches in an electric, back-and-forth affair.

Weir said the North Crowley-Keller rivalry is for real, and added that the Panthers are a very tough, well coached team. He said it seemed as if the game would come down to which team has the ball last.

“They’re one of the best teams in the state,” Weir said of North Crowley. “And they have been for a long time. So kudos to them.”

Keller was without BYU commit Brooks Bahr, who was sidelined with a leg injury and became an “assistant coach.” Weir said the team battled through adversity.

“I can’t say enough about the dudes right there,” Weir said of his squad. “It’s a total team effort all the way around. I don’t even have the words for these kids right there.”

Estep finished with 12 points and junior Steven Ramirez finished with a team high 28 points. Weir said the duo was relentless, and credited the entire team for getting one percent better every day.

“Focusing on the process and being tough,” Weir said. “And gritty. Just finding a way and figuring it out.”

Keller starts strong, holds North Crowley at bay

Saginaw High School’s gymnasium was packed with Keller and North Crowley fans who went back and forth with loud chants, creating an electric playoff basketball environment.

“Hopefully this rivalry keeps on going,” Weir said. “Because it’s fun at the end of the day, right? It was a heck of an atmosphere.”

Keller started the game on a 12-4 run, passing the ball around and playing great team offense without Bahr.

North Crowley stormed right back to end the first quarter with a three pointer from Corey Taylor, who had seven first quarter points. Hayes, who shoots 41.2% from range, then took over and made two deep, contested three pointers.

Ramirez continued his efficient scoring from range, helping Keller take a slim 34-33 lead into the half.

The two juggernauts have created an electric rivalry with the Panthers getting the upper hand in an 80-78 overtime win last season. This time around, the Indians capitalized in the games’ final moments.

Keller kept a slim lead through the entirety of the third quarter despite timely North Crowley buckets from Hayes and KD Davis. The Indians seized the momentum to end the third quarter with a big play from Estep, who stayed composed amid pressure and drained the three before the buzzer.

Although North Crowley threatened to take control, Keller kept control of its lead the rest of the way. Keller will face Lewisville, a team that secured an 63-58 win over Dallas Jesuit on Tuesday, in the regional semifinals.