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 Cold-Shooting Panthers Lose to Blue River, 63-50

February 6, 2008 - Over a four-minute stretch in the second quarter, the Blue River Vikings went on a 13-2 run and used that momentum to cruise to a 63-50 victory over Knightstown in boys varsity basketball last Friday night.

The Panthers, stone cold from the field, could never recover because they simply couldn’t get the shots to fall. Knightstown connected on just 19-of-57 field goals, including an awful three-of-20 from behind the three-point line.

Blue River has won five straight games by an average of 16 points, and Knightstown did little to challenge that winning streak. The Panthers committed 14 first half turnovers, but were somehow still in the game with Zach Apollos hit a three-pointer to make it 15-15 with 5:05 to play in the second quarter.

But the Vikings then lit up the scoreboard. They hit five straight shots, including two treys by Tyler Walker, and went on a 13-2 run to lead 28-17. In that four-minute stretch the Panthers committed five turnovers and when they got a shot off it just clanged off the front of the rim.

A rebound basket by Zach Apollos cut the lead to 28-19 at the half. Zach scored nine points and Colton Kinnaman had six in the opening half, but Knightstown got just four points from the rest of the roster and only one field goal.

Blue River picked up the intensity in the third quarter, opening up a 35-21 lead with a 7-2 run by hitting their first three shots.

“We just didn’t play very well,” Panther coach John Howell said. “Offensively, we’re just too much of a one-pass-and-shoot team. We didn’t make Blue River defend against screens and when you do that there’s always going to be someone in your face.

“I felt offensively as a team we played very selfishly. We had a lot of turnovers in the first half, and on a lot of those they were able to get easy baskets in transition. Blue River played good defense early in the game and we just didn’t handle the pressure.”

Down 35-21, the Panthers made a mini-run in the third quarter. Kelton Lane drove inside for two, and Zach Apollos scored on a tip-in. One free throw by Seth Apollos cut the lead to 35-26, and then Zach got the ball on a fast break and slammed home a one-handed dunk at the four-minute mark that cut the lead to seven points, 35-28.

Blue River responded, but Kinnaman hit a pair of free throws and Lane scored again on a good pass from Brice Biehl that pulled the Panthers to within six points, 38-32. The Vikings then hit four straight shots, going on a 9-2 run over the final two minutes of the quarter. The Panthers could only answer with an inside bucket by Jordan Back, and found themselves down 47-34 entering the last quarter.

They were never able to get the deficit inside double digits the rest of the way. Blue River, which hit 50 percent (23-of-46) of its shots in the game, answered every bucket the Panthers got over the final eight minutes.

Knightstown, hitting just 33 percent from the field on the night, managed just 15 percent from behind the three-point arc (three-of-20).

“We’ve been talking about this all year,” Howell said. “You can’t live and die by the three. When you aren’t hitting them it’s going to be a long night. We were pretty selfish with the ball and because of that we didn’t get the kind of looks at the basket that we wanted.”

Zach Apollos again led the Panthers with 19 points, gathering in 14 rebounds in the process to record another double-double. Over the last two games, the older Apollos has 50 points and 32 rebounds.

Zach (8-17) and Kinnaman (5-11) were the only Panthers close to shooting 50 percent from the field. Seth Apollos (1-6), Lane (2-8) and Biehl (1-4) were a combined 4-18 from the field, one of the poorest shooting nights of the season for that usually dependable trio.

The first half of this game pretty much set the tone for the contest. Knightstown shot just eight-of-23 from the field and committed 14 turnovers in the first two quarters.

The Panthers will try to right the ship Thursday night when they travel to Greenfield-Central for an expected tough battle with the Cougars.



Knightstown (50)

Zach Apollos 8 2-3 19, Seth Apollos 1 1-2 3, Jordan Bearhope 1 0-0 3, Colton Kinnaman 5 2-2 13, Kelton Lane 2 2-2 6, Bryce Cole 0 0-0 0, Jordan Back 1 0-0 2, Travis Titus 0 2-2 2, Brice Biehl 1 0-0 2, Anthony Hibbert 0-1 0-0 0.

Totals: 19-57 7-9 50.


Blue River (63)

Tyler Walker 7 0-1 19, Sean Haynes 5 2-6 12, Bryant Hall 4 3-4 11, Jacob Cool 4 1-2 9, Josh Neal 2 0-0 5, Josh Gossage 0 5-5 5, Stephen Honn 1 1-2 2.

Totals: 23-46 12-20 63.


Rebounds: Knightstown 31 (Zach Apollos 14, Kinnaman 5), Blue River 24 (Hall 12).

Turnovers: Knightstown 20, Blue River 14.


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