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Knightstown, New Castle Losses Mirror One Another
You walk away from the game asking yourself, “How the heck can a play like that happen?”
There’s 4.7 seconds left in the game and the opposing team takes the ball. The player drives the length of the court and hits a mostly uncontested lay-up a split-second before the horn sounds. The shot stuns you and all of the other fans who just seconds before thought your team had the game in the bag.
“How the heck can a play like that happen?”
Well it did – to the New Castle Trojans.
In a play nearly identical to the one that knocked Knightstown out of the sectional the previous weekend, the same thing happened to the Trojans in the Class 4A regional championship at Marion.
Knightstown lost to Eastern Hancock in the sectional when, with 4.8 seconds left, KHS missed a free throw and Eastern Hancock’s Robbie Roland took a pass and dribbled nearly the length of the court, hitting an uncontested lay-up just before the horn to beat the Panthers 50-49.
The very next week, Marion’s Julius Mays took the ball with 4.7 seconds left and drove nearly the length of the floor, hitting an uncontested lay-up just before the horn to give Marion a 42-40 win over the Trojans.
Ironically, both Knightstown and New Castle had double figure leads in the third quarters of those games, and both were victimized by runs accounting for 12-point shifts. The Panthers led 41-30 and were subsequently out-scored 20-8 the rest of the way. The Trojans led 29-19 and were out-scored 23-11 from that point on.
Morton Memorial, which last won a sectional title in 1953 at Rushville, advanced to the final of the Class A sectional tournament at Edinburg. The Tigers defeated Greenwood Christian 74-39 and Southwestern Shelby 75-59, avenging an earlier season loss to the Spartans. They fell in the sectional championship to Waldron 75-41. It was the first time the Tigers had been to a sectional final since the 2002 season, when they lost to a Morristown team that advanced to the regional final.
In the last two seasons the Tigers have gone 22-21.
Several fans approached me after the Panther’s last regular season game against Rushville and asked what I thought of Lion Kyle Morgan. All season long the Rushville people had been promoting him as an Indiana All-Star candidate.
Morgan did a methodical number on the Panthers in the regular season finale, scoring 31 points and leaving many Panther fans to wonder if he was really that good.
Well, Monday night he showed everyone in attendance at the Class 3A Shelbyville Regional that he’s the real deal. Morgan scored 52 points, including 18 in the game’s four overtimes, leading the Lions to a 105-101 victory over Danville.
The game was tied at 69 at the end of regulation and Morgan had scored 34 points. Morgan had 18 of Rushville’s 36 points in the four extra periods.
Apparently, he is that good.
The four overtimes is not an IHSAA record for a state tournament game. If you are driving north on SR 13 about halfway between Marion and Kokomo you’ll enter a tiny town called Swayzee, which is equipped with a gas station, a bar called the Longbranch Saloon (there’s a huge mural of Marshal Dillon), a burger joint, a mini post office and railroad tracks. The sign entering town greets you with the words “Welcome to the only Swayzee in the world. Home of the high school record nine basketball overtimes.”
Swayzee High School set the tournament record for overtimes in 1964 when it defeated Liberty Center 65-61 in the Marion Regional semifinals. Today there is only an elementary school in Swayzee, and the community sends their kids to Oak Hill High School.
Apparently, it’s also the only town in the world named Swayzee. Knightstown, meanwhile, is the only town in the United States named Knightstown. Apparently, there’s a city in Europe bearing the same name.
I think we should erect a sign on U.S. 40 approaching town saying “Welcome to the only Knightstown in the world,” and then in really tiny type, “except for that one in Europe.”
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