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Near-Perfect 2nd Quarter Lifts Panthers Over Hagerstown, 78-49
February 20, 2008 - Before the tip-off Saturday night of the varsity basketball game against Hagerstown, Knightstown High School recognized the school’s first ever sectional championship team, the 1958 Panthers, on the Golden anniversary of their accomplishment. With four of those players in attendance, today’s Panther team took to the floor and didn’t disappoint the alumni, crushing Hagerstown 78-49.
It wasn’t the same Knightstown team that lost at Waldron the previous night by 10 points.
After a shaky outing the night before, Panther head coach John Howell did some shaking of his own Saturday night against Hagerstown. Howell changed up his starting lineup and his player rotation. After a slow start, the Panthers caught fire and blew out the visitors, picking up their eighth win of the season and fourth in the last seven games.
Howell benched leading scorer Zach Apollos for all of the first quarter and the Panthers managed to open up a 13-7 lead. That six-point advantage was gained primarily because of senior forward Bryce Cole, who scored seven first quarter points and would finish with a career-high of 14. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
But it was the second quarter that the Panthers decided where this game would end up going. Knightstown pressed the length of the court and Hagerstown had no answer. The Panthers racked up 31 points in the period, their biggest single quarter point outburst since a December 2006 game against Seton Catholic, when they put up 33 points. That 31-13 run gave them a 44-20 halftime lead and essentially decided the game.
“We did some things that we thought they (Hagerstown) wouldn’t be good at,” Howell said. “The press was effective and we had guys hitting other people with passes that got us some easy layups. We played a pretty solid eight minutes in that second quarter.”
Zach Apollos earned a spot on the bench for the first quarter because he had been hit with a technical against Waldron for a flagrant foul the night before. Without him the Panthers led 13-7. With him in the second frame the team blew the game wide open.
After Cole scored seven points early, Kyle Buckley nailed an 18-footer than made it 13-7 after eight minutes. That’s when the Panthers started shooting the ball better and hitting the open man for the easier shot.
Knightstown hit 12-of-16 field goals in the second period. Apollos nailed five-of-six, while Brice Biehl hit a trey and scored five points. Seth Apollos nailed a three-pointer and Colton Kinnaman and Jordan Bearhope scored four points apiece. Cole added three free throws in the second frame and had hit double digits at halftime. Seven Panthers scored in the second quarter as Knightstown opened that frame with a 16-2 run.
“I thought everybody that played contributed in some way and played well,” Howell said. “We still gave up some easy baskets with ball penetration and that has been killing us all season long. It wasn’t as bad against Hagerstown, but we’ve got to continue to work on that.”
Hagerstown managed to cut the deficit to 19 points in the third quarter, but Knightstown responded with a 13-5 run. Six players scored in the third period when the Panthers extended the lead to 61-36.
Zach Apollos finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Cole had his best game of the season with 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Kinnaman had 10 points, three steals and five assists. Seth Apollos scored eight points, Biehl had seven points and five assists, Kelton Lane had seven and Buckley scored six points. Bearhope and Jordan Back tallied four points each and Jordan Hauk scored two.
The Panthers will play a rematch with the Tigers in the Hagerstown Sectional next Wednesday night. Before that, however, they close the regular season at home Friday night against a red-hot Rushville team. Tip-off of the junior varsity game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Alex Houck 6-12 4-5 18, Dustin Orr 4-9 3-4 12, Bart Hellwarth 2-5 1-3 6, Matt Hine 2-5 1-3 5, Sam Wilson 1-4 2-2 5, Bryant DeBaun 0-7 0-1 0, Josh Morris 0-0 1-2 1, Brandt Miller 1-1 0-0 2, Brock Fisher 0-2 0-0 0.
Totals: 16-45 12-20 49.
Seth Apollos 3-5 1-1 8, Colton Kinnaman 3-8 2-2 10, Brice Biehl 3-3 0-0 7, Bryce Cole 5-11 4-8 14, Kelton Lane 3-8 1-2 7, Zach Apollos 6-9 4-6 16, Jordan Back 1-2 2-4 4, Kyle Buckley 3-5 0-0 6, Jordan Bearhope 2-3 0-0 4, Jordan Hauk 0-0 2-2 2, Colby Lane 0-0 0-0 0, Travis Titus 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals: 29-54 16-25 78.
3-pointers: HG – Houck 2, Wilson, Orr, Hellwarth. KT – Kinnaman 2, Biehl, S. Apollos.
Turnovers: HG – 18. KT – 13.
Rebounds: HG – 26 (Orr 7). KT – 38 (Cole 8, Z. Apollos 7, S. Apollos 7).
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