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Keys

Keys Cougars – Basketball Preview – Presented By Stuteville Ford of Tahlequah

BOYS

Coach: Rick Barnes

Graduation took its toll on the returning offense for the Keys Cougars, but they still return a solid nucleus of players who saw action in almost every game in a season that saw the Cougars advance to the area consolation finals. The leading scorer returning for Keys is Gage Barnes (6-2, Sr.) who averaged 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a game in 2020 and is described as a solid all-around player, person, and leader for the Cougars. Keys has a good mix of size but not really what you would call a big man, so filling the post spot will be Levi Troyer (6-2, Sr.). a multi-sport athlete who is also active in FFA and averaged 4.2 points and nearly 4 rebounds per game last year. Lane Taylor (5-11, Sr.) will be vying for a starting spot this year to join Barnes out front at a guard position. The final real experienced player back in the fold for the Cougars is Reed Trimble (6-2, Jr.) who averaged nearly 8 points and 5 rebounds a game. The Cougars should feature a deep bench with seniors Jagger Hall (6-1) and Michael Moses Jr. (6-1) and juniors Trenton Nichols, Josiah Wolff, Bronc Quetone and Colton Combs. Sophomore Garin Barnes is one to watch along with Austin Davis. “We will be built around good defense and a lot of motion on offense,” said coach Rick Barnes. “We have a good mix of shooters and guys that can take it to the hole.”

GIRLS

Coach: Rick Kirkhart

20-21 Record: 16-3

Like the boys, the Lady Cougars made it as far as the area finals before their 2020 season ground to a halt. But unlike the boys, Keys returns four starters from that team including one of the most explosive players in the state in Kylie Eubanks (5-7, Sr.). Eubanks averaged 21 points and 6.5 rebounds a game. “She’s a great player but most of all, an outstanding person,” said veteran coach Rick Kirkhart. Another double-digit scorer returning for Keys is Sierra Winkler (5-8, Sr.) who knocked in 13 points and five rebounds per game last year.

“Sierra is one of the hardest workers in the gym I’ve ever seen and is a joy to coach. She’s also a great team leader,” said Kirkhart. Add to those two Ashlyn Rodomski (5-8, Jr.), Allie Eubanks (5-9, So.), and Kylie Stilwell (5-3, Sr.)  and you’ve got a solid core of experience. Kirkhart will also be looking to some players to add bench strength for the Cougars such as Bailey Davis (5-5, So.), Sarah Kelley (5-10, So.) and Erica Ward (5-10, So.). It’s no wonder that Kirkhart is excited to tip this season off. “This team is going to fun and exciting to watch,” said the head Cougar.

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