Keller's R.J. Nembhard poured in 29 points to lead the Indians to a 69-61 win in the Class 6A Region I semifinals. Keller will face Arlington Bowie for a state tournament berth on Saturday. dlauber@star-telegram.com
Keller's R.J. Nembhard poured in 29 points to lead the Indians to a 69-61 win in the Class 6A Region I semifinals. Keller will face Arlington Bowie for a state tournament berth on Saturday. dlauber@star-telegram.com

Boys Basketball

TCU signee leads Keller boys into 6A Region I final with win over Allen

By Kevin Casas

kcasas@star-telegram.com

March 03, 2017 8:41 PM

Keller’s pinpoint offensive precision to open the game set the tone and the Indians stayed with it throughout, racing to the Class 6A Region I final with a 69-61 victory Friday night over Allen in a semifinal game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.

TCU signee R.J. Nembhard led the charge with eight of his game-high 29 points in the first quarter.

Keller (32-2), which hit 10 of its first 11 shots, will face Arlington Bowie, a winner over Killeen Ellison, for the regional title and a berth in the state tournament in San Antonio at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Coach Randall Durant said he believes this is the furthest a Keller basketball team has gone in the playoffs.

“Every game, we pride ourselves on coming out with some high intensity, and that wasn’t any different tonight,” Nembhard said. “We got a little tired toward the end of the third quarter, but stuck with the game plan, tried to stay hot and defend.”

Allen never came up with a solution to Keller’s ability to move the ball.

Keller advances to regional final with win over Allen

TCU signee RJ Nembhard scored 29 points and Carson Hughes 14 as Keller earned a berth in the regional final with a 69-61 win over Allen.

kcasas@star-telegram.com

The Eagles (29-7) pressed early with a 1-2-2 defense that put some pressure on the Indians in the back court.

But crisp passing made for some easy opportunities at the hoop, and Keller guard Carson Hughes got hot in the second quarter after the Indians opened the period missing six straight shots.

Hughes buried three 3-point shots to keep a 35-27 cushion at the break.

Allen stormed back in the third quarter, though, connecting on 8 of 16 shots to pull within 49-47 going into the fourth quarter.

Isaiah Stevens buried a 3-pointer to open the quarter and give the Eagles their first lead at 50-49.

It was short-lived as Keller connected on seven free throws and a couple of layups to reclaim the lead and extend.

“We kind of got a little tired there in the third quarter, but every time out we’re talking about being tougher than this,” Durant said. “We’re talking about putting the last play behind us and getting ready for the next one.”

Hughes finished with 14 points and Brady Boyd had 11 to back up Nembhard.

Senior forward Cam Christon led Allen with 27 points and Stevens finished with 11.

Keller Indians guard R.J. Nembhard (22) drives to the basket past Allen Eagles forward Cam Christon (1) in the second half of a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Keller won 69-61. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guard Jared Bowman (20) fights to get around Allen Eagles guard Jerritt Dixon (4) in the second half of a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Keller won 69-61. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guard Brady Boyd (2) throws up a shot after being fouled by the Allen Eagles in the second half of a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth. Keller won 69-61. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
The Keller Indians bench erupts after a 3-pointer against the Allen Eagles in the second half of a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday. Keller won 69-61. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians Carson Hughes (3), Ben Johnson (21) and Jackson Hataway (10) reacts to a 69-61win against the Allen Eagles in the second half of a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guard Carson Hughes (3) reacts to beating the Allen Eagles 69-61 in a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth on Friday. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guards Carson Hughes (3) and guard Brady Boyd (2) react to beating the Allen Eagles 69-61 in a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worthon Friday. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guard RJ Nembhard (22) is fouled by Allen Eagles guard Jaylon Scott (20) while bringing the ball up court in the second half of a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Keller won 69-61. Brad Loper
Keller Indians guard Brady Boyd (2) and forward Jackson Hataway (10) defend against Allen Eagles forward Cam Christon (1) in the first half at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guard Rj Nembhard (22) shoots over Allen Eagles guard Jerritt Dixon (4) in the first half at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guard Jared Bowman (20) pressures Allen Eagles guard Dylan Ditzenberger (22) in the first half of a boys high school basketball playoff game at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians guard Rj Nembhard (22) dunks against the Allen Eagles in the first half at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians Carson Hughes (3) lays in a shot past Allen Eagles guard Dylan Ditzenberger (22) in the first half at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper
Keller Indians Carson Hughes (3) makes a steal against Allen Eagles guard Dylan Ditzenberger (22) in the first half at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
Keller Indians fans cheer in the first half against the Allen Eagles at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, March 3, 2017. Brad Loper Special to the Star-Telegram
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