Hornets' Graves, Brandsgaard, Lady Hornets' Keithley recognized by media organization; Cool cited as district Classes 4-5 coach of year

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
Three Chillicothe High School basketball standouts and one head coach were honored by regional media today on the district level for their and their teams’ accomplishments in the 2017-18 season.
Senior Walker Graves and sophomores Hunter Keithley and Westley Brandsgaard have been named to the Missouri Sports-writers and Sportscasters Association’s classes 4-5 all-northwest district teams for their respective genders.
It is the first such recognition for each.
In addition, Hornets head coach Tim Cool, who guided the squad to its finest season in 20 years, was selected as boys’ coach of the year for the combined classes 4-5. He had been so honored once previously during his 7-years tenure at CHS, being chosen at the Class 3 level after the 2014-15 season.
The trio of CHS players selected is among a total of 18 players from teams in the C-T coverage area included on the MSSA all-district team (see story below and list on page 10). The association’s northwest district encompasses most of the northwest quadrant of the state.
A year ago, Chillicothe had three senior girls – Hannah Jones, Katelyn Parkey, and Whitney Clampitt – and one boy – senior Cade Snyder – named MSSA all-district.
Chillicothe’s lone senior choice this year, Graves, led the Horn-ets in rebounding (7.8 per game), charging fouls drawn (tied for first with Adler Marshall), and 2-points field-goal shooting percentage (64 percent). He escalated his inside shooting percentage a whopping 12 percentage points from a year ago.
With his improved inside accuracy, Graves raised his scoring average to 8.5 points per game this past season, second-best on the balanced squad and a couple of points higher than his mark in the 2016-17 campaign.
Teammate Brandsgaard concluded his second prep season and first as a full-time starter – he started about the last two-thirds of his freshman year – as the Hornets’ leading scorer (13.4 points per game), free throws attempted and made (108-128), free throw percentage (near-CHS-single-season record 84 percent), 3-points baskets (34), and 3-points shooting percentage (35 percent).
He also was second in rebounding average (4.6), offensive rebounds, and shot blocks.
Keithley, who saw some limited action with last year’s veteran squad as a freshman backup, not only stepped into the starting five from the beginning of her sophomore year for a lightly-season club, but flourished as a hub of the team in multiple areas, including scoring, ballhandling, and defense.
At the end of the team’s remarkably-successful 17-9 transition season, she had paced the Lady Hornets in scoring (13.5 points per game), 2-points field-goal percentage (56), steals (1.7 average), and assists (3.2 on average). She was a 49 percent shooter overall, second-best on the team, and shot 33 percent outside the arc.
She also was used as a press-breaker, utilizing the combination of her 5’10” height and her adept dribbling skill.