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 Panthers Boys Entering Brutal Part of Basketball Schedule

January 14, 2009 -  There’s an old cliché about separating the men from the boys, and the Knightstown Panther boys basketball team will get an up close and personal experience with that considering the upcoming schedule.

Coach John Howell’s Panthers, coming off a disappointing 53-43 loss to New Castle, will find their schedule becoming more difficult this weekend. After that, two more games will test the team as they head into the meat of the regular season schedule.

Friday night Howell takes his Panthers to Centerville to do battle with their Sectional 42 rival. The Bulldogs are 7-1 this season, with their only loss coming at New Castle. Saturday afternoon, Knightstown’s boys play at Conseco Fieldhouse for the first time ever against Class A fourth-ranked Rockville.

Centerville and Knightstown has met three common opponents. The Panthers lost at New Castle Friday night 53-43, while Centerville fell at New Castle 56-53 on December 27. Knightstown lost at home against Eastern Hancock 64-60 on December 19, while the Bulldogs beat the Royals in their season opener, 47-35. Knightstown defeated Cambridge City 62-51, while Centerville beat the Golden Eagles 52-43.

The game should be a pretty good match up, considering the Bulldogs have played a schedule with a combined record of 29-46, while the Panther opposition combines for a record of 39-49.

Centerville poses multiple threats with a veteran team that has size and speed. The names of those key Bulldog players are very familiar to Panther fans, because the players are multi-sport stars who were on the baseball and football teams that have knocked Knightstown out of recent state tournaments.

Senior Drew Schauss is the catapult of the Bulldog game plan, averaging 16.7 points and 7.1 rebounds. The 6-4 power forward averaged 22 points per game as a junior, but has a lot more help this season.

Senior Jacob Stewart, 6-3, averages a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Center Brad Seigel stretches the tape to 6-5 and averages eight points and eight rebounds. The Bulldogs also get nearly nine points per game from guard Cory Noelker, but their team strength is their powerful inside game and three big men.

Saturday afternoon the Panthers make their first-ever visit to Conseco Fieldhouse, where one of the top team’s in Class A will be waiting. The Rox are 7-2 on the season and lost both of those games by just one point. The have fallen to Class 3A West Vigo 54-53, and lost to Marshall, Ill, 53-52 in a holiday tournament. Just two of their nine games have been against Class A schools and they won those by an average of 28 points.

Lady Panthers Rolling

Coach Dawn Basicker’s Lady Panthers are 8-5 on the season and have been on a roll.

Five of their last seven games are at home and the girls are playing some of their best basketball of the season.

The girls have 3-6 Union County coming to town Thursday, and host 5-8 Cambridge City Lincoln this Tuesday. That sets up a showdown at home on January 23 with Shenandoah in a crucial Sectional 42 and White River Athletic Conference match-up, last between the two schools.



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