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 7th Graders Beat Tri, Finish Year at 8-5

March 4, 2009 -  Knightstown’s seventh grade girls basketball team ran into a couple of buzz saws against Class 3A Rushville and Class 4A Greenfield-Central, and split two games in the Henry County tournament over the weekend. Despite losing three of their last four games, the girls nonetheless completed their season with an impressive 8-5 record.

Coach Joe Patton’s Lady Panthers fell to Greenfield in a tough battle, 27-23. They lost to a talented Rushville group 40-21. In the county tournament, Knightstown kept the game close for three quarters before running out of gas and losing 41-30. The girls rebounded to defeat Tri 26-11 and claim another win in their season finale.



The Lady Panthers fell behind by double digits in the first quarter and that slow start put their backs to the wall throughout the game. Knightstown trailed 13-2 after one stop and 21-11 at the half.

The Lady Panthers started playing better defense and cut the Lady Cougar lead to six points heading into the final quarter, but could never get over the hump. Knightstown committed 22 turnovers in the contest and that led to their downfall.

Casey Back led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points. Ciara Kline scored six points, including four in the second quarter. Jill Gross had three, and two apiece were scored by Emily Thomas, Casey McDowell and Katie Kortz.

McDowell was the top rebounder with six, while Thomas and Gross had four apiece.



The Lady Panthers had to follow up that tough Greenfield loss with a game the very next day against a better Rushville team.

“We were just a step behind all night,” Patton said. Knightstown connected on just 3-of-27 free throws in the game.

Rushville led 10-5 after one stop and increased that to 20-9 at the half. The Lady Panthers committed 22 turnovers in the contest.

Jill Gross was the top Knightstown scorer with seven points. Kiersten Hammer had four, Kaylie Apollos and Hannah Morgan each had two, while Casey Back and Casey McDowell had one point each.



Another slow start hurt the Lady Panthers in the Henry County Tournament’s first game Saturday at Shenandoah. The Lady Raiders opened up a 10-4 lead after one period and eventually pulled ahead by 13 points during the second quarter.

Knightstown finally put things together and rallied to cut the margin to 21-15 at the half behind five points from Casey Back. Back then scored six more points in the third quarter as the Lady Panthers cut the Shenandoah lead to 28-26.

Jill Gross scored four points in the fourth quarter, but Knightstown simply ran out of gas over the game’s final six minutes.

“The girls played their hearts out after being down by 13 points,” Patton said. “They never gave up.”

Back and Gross both hit double figures with 11 points. Apollos scored four, Morgan had two, while Kline and Hammer had one apiece. McDowell led the team with six rebounds, while Gross and Back had four apiece.



The Lady panthers finished their season with a win by defeating Tri in the Henry County Tourney, 26-11. Another slow start saw Knightstown leading by just one point after the first quarter, 4-3.

They then shut down Tri in the second frame, opening up a 12-3 halftime lead. A 10-3 third quarter run blew the game wide open and extended the advantage to 22-6.

Jill Gross scored a game-high 12 points, giving her 23 points in the two tournament games. Ciara Kline scored six points, Kaylie Apollos tallied four, while Casey Back and Casey McDowell both scored two.

Patty Jones and Lydia Peterson shared game-high honors with five rebounds each. McDowell, Kline and Apollos all had four boards, while Kiersten Hammer had a game-high six steals.

Knightstown completed its season with a fine 8-5 record.



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