Canyon Springs senior De’Shawn Keperling has spent most of the season playing in the shadow of high-scoring guard Kevin Legardy.
He picked the perfect time to step into the spotlight.
Keperling had 24 points and 14 rebounds to help the Pioneers to a 91-77 road win over Las Vegas High on Wednesday.
“This is the night that he needed to shine,” Canyon Springs coach Freddie Banks said. “When you’re playing a league game, you’ve got to come out and play basketball. He played well tonight. He crashed the boards, did the little things.”
Legardy finished with a game-high 28 points but struggled with his shooting. He was 9-for-28 overall (32.1 percent) and just 4-for-17 on 3-pointers (23.5 percent).
“We just told Kevin to keep playing and fight through it,” Keperling said. “Everybody has their bad games.”
Keperling pick up the slack, shooting 9-for-15 and helping Canyon Springs (16-1, 4-0 Northeast League) collect 25 second-chance points.
Junior forward Christopher Ward came off the bench to chip in 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“I feel like I had to be a big man so I could get the other big men to play and rebound,” Keperling said.
Sophomore guard Alexander Spaight added 24 points, five rebounds and four assists for a balanced Canyon Springs squad.
“Some games we can rely on Kevin, like when he’s hot,” Keperling said. “But most of the time we’re going to have everybody try to score a double-double.”
The win left the Pioneers alone in first place after the first half of league play.
“This means a lot,” Banks said. “This puts you in first place. This is what our goal is is to finish in first. We’re just going to have to continue to play basketball like we know how.”
Donovan Joyner had 25 points to lead Las Vegas (14-6, 3-1). Mory Souhamoro added 16 points. Zach Matlock had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Jaylin Headen added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats.