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Local

Boys basketball: Minooka's Keegan, Kyle Graebner give opponents double trouble

MORRIS – One of the most asked questions during a Minooka basketball game this winter will most likely be, "Was that Keegan or Kyle who just scored?"

That is because twins Keegan and Kyle Graebner are seniors and, after playing supporting roles for the Indians the past few seasons, are ready to take the reins this year.

The twins, who are nearly impossible to tell apart on the court or off, led Minooka to a 5-2 record at the Morris Shootout, including a second-place finish in the Maroon Bracket.

And, while the Indians got strong performances from many players, including Brandon Hill, Adrian Gutierrez and Adrian Paige, it was the Graebners who stood out as the focal point, both on offense and defense.

Keegan Graebner was the point guard last season, which allowed Jon Butler to move to shooting guard and inside, where he was more free to add to the Indians' scoring. This season, Hill will be the point guard and Keegan Graebner will move to shooting guard, giving the Indians a strong threat on each side as Kyle Graebner will be the shooting guard on the other side of the floor.

It is evident even during pregame warm-ups that the Graebners communicate well on the court, and during the game. They always seem to know where the other one will be. That's not an accident.

"We have our little looks that we give each other when we are out there," Kyle Graebner said. "We just know what the other one is going to do and where we are going to be."

"It's pretty fun playing on the opposite sides of the floor," Keegan Graebner said. "We know exactly what the other one does best and we can get each other the ball in the best position to score and help the team win."

And, even though they are the focal point, they both know the ultimate goal is a team victory.

"We have a real good group this year," Keegan said. "There are a lot of guys on this team that just love basketball. We're looking forward to the season because we think we can be pretty good.

"Our big guys [Gutierrez and Paige] are very skilled and having them as threats underneath will keep things open for us. And, if teams try to stop us, we know we can go the guys under the basket and they will get the job done."

And, like their physical appearance, the Graebners' games are nearly mirror images of each other. They like to take advantage of that fact.

"We've been playing together since we were little, obviously," Kyle said. "We know exactly what the other one can do. It's almost like we have our own language out there that only we know, so it's pretty cool playing with each other."

Minooka coach Scott Tanaka is excited about the prospects for the upcoming season with the Graebners on either side of the floor.

"Having Brandon Hill be able to to run the point as well as he has been doing this summer is real exciting," he said. "That allows us to move Keegan to one shooting guard spot, and we have one of the twins on either side. Teams can't really favor one side or the other.

"And, with Adrian Gutierrez and Adrian Paige, we have five solid starters that can all carry the scoring load if we need them to. That's going to make us tough to defend."

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