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 8th Grade Boys Give Trojans, Cougars Good Run in Tourney

January 21, 2009 -  Despite an extended losing streak, Knightstown’s eighth grade boys basketball team continues to show improvement. The Panthers played very well in the New Castle tournament over the weekend, losing by one point to Greenfield and battling a very tough New Castle team.

The Panthers lost to Greenfield 33-32, as the Cougars were able to hit clutch free throws down the stretch. New Castle defeated the Panthers in the tourney opener 44-33. The young Trojans have lost just one game in two years.

The Panther boys also dropped recent games to Eastern Hancock, Rushville and Doe Creek.

Greenfield 33, Panthers 32

Knightstown jumped out to an early lead against Greenfield, but couldn’t maintain the momentum and lost 33-32 in the consolation game of the New Castle tourney. Walker Titus and Andre Loveall both nailed three-pointers as the Panthers jumped out to a 12-5 lead after one quarter.

But the Cougars came back with a 14-6 second quarter run to lead 19-18 at the half. The game was tied at 27-all heading into the final quarter, but Greenfield hit five-of-six free throws down the stretch to pull out the win.

Loveall led Knightstown with 11 points, hitting three treys. Dakota Smucker had eight points, Layne Olsheske scored four, Titus had three, while Justin Mann, Tommy Masters and Nic Rayburn had two apiece.

Knightstown was 0-for-6 from the free throw line, while Greenfield hit on 8-of-14 freebies.

New Castle 44, Panthers 33

The Trojans opened up a 10-point halftime lead and Knightstown played them basket-for-basket the rest of the way, eventually losing to the hosts 44-33. New Castle had a 21-11 halftime lead, but the Panthers hung in the game by getting six points in the third quarter from Justin Mann. Mann and Andre Loveall both knocked down three-pointers in the third frame.

Mann came back in the fourth period to hit three field goals, Dakota Smucker scored four more points and Nic Rayburn hit a trey as the Panthers put up 13 points in the final six minutes.

Mann had a monster game with 14 points, while Smucker added nine. Loveall and Rayburn both scored three points, while Jared Souder and Tommy Masters scored two apiece.

Eastern Hancock 36, Panthers 29

Andre Loveall hit two three-pointers and scored 12 points in the first half, spotting Knightstown to a 16-14 lead. But the Panthers couldn’t hold on and fell to Eastern Hancock 36-29.

Knightstown was outscored 15-5 in the third quarter. Loveall finished with 18 points to lead Panther players. Dakota Smucker scored five points, while Layne Olsheske, Justin Mann and Jared Souder tallied two apiece.

Vincz lead all scorers in the game with 19 points and Wallace added 11 for the Royals.

Rushville 59, Knightstown 38

The Panthers held tight with Rushville through one quarter, but the Class 3A Lions pulled away with a big 16-4 second period run to win the game 59-38. Trailing 31-14 at the half, the Panthers got back into the game with a 16-point explosion in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 40-30. Layne Olsheske scored five points in the third frame, Jared Souder and Justin Mann added four apiece and Andre Loveall scored three. But the Lions went on a 19-8 run over the final six minutes to pull away.

Loveall was high point man for the Panthers with 10. Mann scored eight, Olsheske had seven, Souder scored six, Smucker had four and Grant Kennedy tallied three on a fourth-quarter three-pointer.

Doe Creek 38, Knightstown 27

The Panthers managed just one field goal in the first quarter, falling into an early hole against Doe Creek and eventually losing 38-27. The team trailed just 14-10 at halftime, but Doe Creek outscored the Panthers 12-7 in the third quarter.

Loveall led the scoring attack for Knightstown with seven points, hitting two three-pointers. Smucker scored six markers, Olsheske and Mann each had four, Walker Titus scored three, Tommy Masters had two and Anthony Peck scored one point.



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