Keltz propels Montrose past Central
All it takes is one.
For a shooter such as Montrose’s Kala Keltz, seeing the first 3-pointer that buckles the net is like a radar locking onto a target. The distance determined. So the touch is automatic.
Keltz hit one 3 in the first quarter Friday, then made three more in the second quarter to give the Indians a lead they did not give up in their 47-26 win over the Central girls basketball team.
“It’s a confidence thing, mostly,” Keltz said. “If you’re down on yourself you’ll never make a shot.”
Keltz was the only one to hit double digits, tallying 21 points for Montrose (8-8, 3-0 Southwestern League).
Montrose led 5-4 in the first quarter.
Madison Gurule scored early in the second quarter, and after an errant Central pass bounced out of bounds and took a hop into a trash can, Keltz got going.
She hit three 3-pointers to essentially grab the road league win.
On the occasion she missed a 3, she followed her shot and rebounded the ball for a layup.
“We just had to calm ourselves down,” Montrose coach Eric Sanchez said.
Unfortunately for Montrose, Gurule, who finished with five points, injured a knee. Sanchez said Gurule possibly dislocated the knee cap.
Brittany Hoppe led Central (3-12, 1-2) with 11 points.
Jordan Eller added six points for the Warriors, including a 3-pointer late in the second quarter that answered a Keltz 3.
But the Keltz Show, which included 14 second-quarter points, single-handedly put the game out of reach.
Montrose plays Fruita Monument and Grand Junction next week.
“It’s exciting,” said Baylee Hawk, who had five points. “But we have a big week coming up with Fruita Monument on Tuesday and Junction on Friday.”
Can Keltz continue her hot shooting against the Tigers guards Sydni Brandon and Jamie Derrieux?
One thing’s for sure: Keltz has the go-ahead to shoot at will.
“Coach tells me to shoot it every time you get it,” Keltz said. “I don’t shoot it every time I get it ... sometimes I’m not open.”
But for a few minutes late in the second quarter, Keltz found all kinds of room. She hit 3s from both sides of the 3-point arc, jogging to open spots in the Central zone defense.
Because she wasn’t boxed out, she was able to dart into the lane in the event she missed.
In the second quarter, however, she hardly had to worry about that.