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 Panther Freshmen Knock Off Class 3A Arabians 41-37

January 30, 2008 - Knightstown’s freshman basketball team gained a split in two games last week against larger schools. The Panthers, coached by Darrin Haines, defeated Pendleton Heights 41-37, and lost to Rushville 52-47.

Against the Arabians, Knightstown used an 11-4 second quarter run to pull ahead in a close game. Pendleton led 13-12 after the first quarter, but Knightstown held the visitors to just one field goal in the second quarter and raced ahead 23-17 at halftime. They increased that to 36-26 after three quarters, and then held on for the four-point victory.

Five different players scored for the Panthers in the opening frame. Lane Fields dropped in four points, while Cody McDowell, Danny Ortman, Nolan Hall and Wes Hammer all nailed field goals. Despite the well-balanced attack, the Panthers still trailed 13-12.

But Knightstown turned the game around in the second quarter and never trailed again. Hall drilled a three-pointer and Ortman struck for four points on two field goals. Buckets by Fields and McDowell enabled the Panthers to pull ahead by six points.

They kept the pressure on the third frame, extending their lead to double digits. Ortman and McDowell both hit for four points and Kamron Beavers nailed a trey. Another bucket from Fields put the Panthers up by 10 points entering the fourth quarter.

Knightstown went cold from the field in the final stanza, but still got three points from Hammer and a pair of free throws by Ortman to secure the 41-37 win. Ortman was the lone Panther in double figures with 12 points. He nailed five field goals, both of his free throws, and scored in every quarter. McDowell and Fields scored eight points apiece, while Hall and Hammer added five each. Beavers finished with three points.

Brandon Carrender, Joey Wyatt and Hall each passed out three assists as the Panthers assisted on 14 of their 18 field goals in the game. McDowell and Ortman both had three rebounds and two assists. Fields also blocked four shots in the game and grabbed three boards.


The Lions came out of the gates with a roar, hitting 75 percent of their shots in the first quarter and jumping out to a 20-4 lead.

But just when it looked like the Panthers would be completely out-manned, they came right back with a monster second quarter. Knightstown would outscore Rushville by 11 points over the final three quarters, but was unable to come up with the key buckets down the stretch.

The Panthers got just two field goals in the opening period from Ortman and Fields. The Lions drilled nine jumpers, including two treys, to take a commanding 20-4 lead after just six minutes of action.

But Knightstown responded with a 19-8 run in the second quarter. Ortman, who finished with a game-high 26 points, knocked down five shots and added a field goal for 12 points in the quarter. Field added four more and Hall drilled a three-pointer. When the halftime horn sounded, the Panthers had nearly erased that 16-point deficit and cut the lead to 28-23.

Ortman scored four more points in the third frame, Fields added three and Cody Juday hit a trey. But the Lions maintained a 40-33 lead after three quarters.

The Panthers made another nice run in the final period that just fell short. Ortman scored eight more points, Field added four and Bobby Wyatt knocked down a jumper for two.

Ortman finished with an outstanding game, scoring 26 points, grabbing four rebounds and collecting two steals. Fields also hit double digits with 13 points and had four boards. Juday and Hall both scored three points, while Wyatt had two points, three assists and two steals.

The final home game of the season is tonight (Wednesday) against Guerin Catholic. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.


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