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 Long-Awaited Showdown Between Panthers, Bulldogs Finally Here

February 11, 2009 -  The names of the key personnel are very familiar to fans and players at both high schools.

Drew Schauss, a 6-5 senior, 6-3 junior Jacob Stewart, senior stalwarts Wes Brandon and Ryan Carman, as well as sophomore Matthew Schauss head up a star-studded Centerville cast that has wrecked havoc on KHS sports teams over the last couple of years.

On the flip side, Centerville fans and players are more than familiar with Zach Apollos, Kelton Lane, Brice Biehl, Anthony Hibbert and Travis Titus.

Whether it’s basketball, football, track and field, soccer or baseball, the Knightstown Panthers and Centerville Bulldogs have become one of the top rivals in virtually every sport across the board.

In less than one year, Centerville has knocked Knightstown out of the boys baseball sectional and out of the football state tournament. Just under one year ago, the Lady Bulldogs knocked the Lady Panthers out of the girls basketball sectional.

With the boys basketball state tournament just a few weeks away and the girls tourney getting underway this week, there’s a good possibility that Centerville and Knightstown with have a major say in who wins both of those sectionals again this year.

Knightstown and Centerville boys basketball teams were tapped in the preseason as the teams to beat in the boys Class 2A basketball sectional. They were scheduled to play earlier this season, but Mother Nature had other ideas and the game was postponed.

The Panthers and Bulldogs will finally get to make formal introductions this Saturday afternoon on the Centerville court. But with these two teams, no formal introductions are necessary. Most of the players already know each other well.

Knightstown and Centerville are considered the primary teams to beat in Sectional 42, although Eastern Hancock and Shenandoah are playing well and considered serious contenders.

Both the Panthers and Bulldogs will have a much better idea of where their team really stands after this weekend. After getting off to an 8-1 start, Centerville had lost four of its last five games. But those losses came against very good competition, including Class 4A Connersville in two overtimes, 12-3 Winchester, Class 4A 11-3 Jay County, and 12-3 Monroe Central.

The Bulldogs have also had their way with the rest of the Sectional 42 field, already owning victories over every team in the sectional except Knightstown.

Centerville is 10-5 this year with five games to play. They crushed Union County Monday night 53-34. The Bulldogs are confident they can win out, and that path has the Panthers as a roadblock this weekend.

Knightstown stood 5-3 at one point this season, and then lost four straight games. But the team has returned to its winning ways lately, taking its last three games and getting back to above .500 at 8-7 on the year.

The winner will likely be the favorite to take the sectional title this season. The special start time is 12:30 for the varsity (JV at 11 a.m.) because of the girls sectional. Before the Panthers make that U.S. 40 trek to Centerville, coach John Howell’s team will be seeking its fourth straight win Thursday night at home against Greenfield-Central. The Class 4A Cougars are just 2-13 this season, with wins over New Palestine and Eastern Hancock before the Christmas break.

Greenfield played the Royals again and had it handed to them, 58-34. The Cougars have lost six consecutive games.



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