Koat Keat leaves his mark on Crean Lutheran’s basketball championship win over Agoura – Orange County Register

IRVINE – Crea Lutheran Boys’ basketball coach Nate Klitzing has told anyone who wants to listen that Koat Keat is a “player who changes the program.”

Klitzing’s words were crisp and clear as 6-foot-9 Keat scored 18 of his team-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Saints past Agoura 68-58 in the final. CIF-SS Division 2A Wednesday in front of a noisy crowd at Crean Lutheran High.

The seeded Saints (18-2) won their second CIF-SS title in school history.

  • Crean Lutheran’s Michael Birket and Alex Davis celebrate with student fans after the team won the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship match against Agoura at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday June 9, 2021. ( Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Team Crean Lutheran poses for a group photo after defeating Agoura in the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / photographer collaborater)

  • Crean Lutheran’s Mark Fedro is hoisted up by his friends after the team won the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship match against Agoura at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung) Gong / collaborating photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran’s players celebrate with the plaque after defeating Agoura in the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran’s Koat Keat, right, shoots Agoura’s Elijah Whitman during the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / collaborating photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran Jack Fairchild, center, celebrates his three-point shot during the CIF-SS 2A Division Playoff Championship game against Agoura at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer )

  • Crean Lutheran’s Michael Birket shoots a three-point shot during the CIF-SS 2A Division Playoff Championship game against Agoura at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran’s James Agany, left, blocks Elijah Whitman of Agoura’s shot during the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong / collaborating photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran’s Jack Fairchild, right, shoots Agoura’s Sam Klaasen during the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / collaborating photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran’s Koat Keat slams a dunk during the CIF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game against Agoura at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran fans react to a team basket during the CIF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game against Agoura at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Agoura’s bench and fans cheer on the team during the Division 2A CIF-SS Playoff Championship game against Crean Lutheran at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Elijah Whitman of Agoura, right, Sam Klaasen, left, and James Agany of Crean Lutheran fight for the ball on the ground during the CIF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran’s Jack Fairchild, right, shoots under pressure on Agoura’s Elijah Whitman during the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / collaborating photographer)

  • Crean Lutheran head coach Nate Klitzing gives instructions to his players during the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game against Agoura at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / collaborating photographer)

  • Agoura players react after being beaten by Crean Lutheran in the CIF-SS 2A Division Playoff Championship game at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Agoura head coach Conley Oliver gives instructions to his players during the ICF-SS Division 2A Playoff Championship game against Crean Lutheran at Crean Lutheran in Irvine on Wednesday June 9, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / contributing photographer)

“We knew we had pieces and we had some really good individual players, but KK (Keats) is the guy who can do it all and he can put you on top,” Klitzing said. “He can throw a free throw when you need it, he can get a rebound when you need it, can get the ball to the ground, and he covers our sins half the time, you know.”

Keat, a junior, also tallied 16 rebounds and delivered six assists with impressive low post assists. He made a pair of free throws in the bottom of the fourth with the Saints trying to protect a 61-58 lead.

A 7-0 run to end the game was punctuated by a thunderous slam dunk from Keat with 25 seconds left.

Michael Birket added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Jack Fairchild was the sixth prototype man with 12 points off the bench.

On the defensive end of the ball, 6-11 junior James Agany blocked eight shots and was the anchor of Crean Lutheran’s defense.

“James makes our team different because we have two guys with that height and that length, it’s amazing.” Klitzing said of his twin towers Keat and Agany.

Keat only scored four points in the first half, but Agany took over with eight points in the first half.

Agoura (17-8) trailed up to 11 in the second half but used his long-range shot to stay close. The Chargers scored 10 points to 3 points in the game.

Jed Miller knocked down five 3-pointers and scored a high 24 points for the Chargers, and Jon Spayne finished with 12 points.

Agoura, the Marmonte League champion, made his first appearance in a CIF-SS final since 1974, which was a loss to El Dorado.

Klitzing called the victory of the CIF home championship a “once in a lifetime experience”.

“Due to COVID we were able to have it at home and it couldn’t be more special than that, in front of our fans,” he said. “The way we played and the way we did it together as a group, I’m so proud.”




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