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 Panthers Go Tiger Hunting Tonight

February 27, 2008 - Have the Knightstown Panthers ever been involved in a more competitive boys basketball sectional?

There have been season in which every team in the sectional field has had a winning record. In the mid-1970s, Knightstown entered sectional play with a 17-2 and had the third-best mark, behind Eastern Hancock at 18-2 and Tri High at 19-1. Mt. Vernon, at 15-5, won the sectional that season.

This year just two teams in the eight-team field have winning records. Centerville and Eastern Hancock are both 12-8. Last week, Union City upset Centerville and Morristown knocked off Eastern Hancock. Sectional 42 really is wide open.

Morristown and Union City threw wrenches into the Sectional 42 spokes, showing that the two favored teams in the sectional field are vulnerable.

Hagerstown, Knightstown’s opponent in tonight’s sectional, picked up their third win this year, beating Tri High 66-53. The Tigers then lost to Eastern Hancock 91-58, so they enter sectional play with a 3-16 record.

The Royals (12-8) got back on track, and their game against Centerville (12-8) still figures to be the best first round contest. If Knightstown wins the Panthers get the winner of that game.

Sectional 42 is perhaps more wide open than any tournament for the Panthers in decades. The field has a combined record of 66-93 (.415 winning percentage), one of the weakest in the entire state. Class A Sectional 58 appears to be the weakest field with a collective 38-94 record (.288), and Class 2A Sectional 36 weighs in at 39-81 (.325). In Knightstown’s old sectional at Alexandria, the teams are a combined 79-62.

If there was ever a chance to steal a sectional title in a down year, this is it.

Eastern Hancock, 12-8 this year, is 5-0 against the sectional field. The Royals are led by big man Caleb Kennedy, who is averaging more than 20 points and 14 rebounds per game. He is second in the state in rebounding.

The Royals drew Centerville in the second game Wednesday night, and those two teams squared off in the season opener in a thriller won by Eastern in three overtimes, 67-61.


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