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 JV Loses Season Finale on Last-Second Bomb, 40-38

March 4, 2009 -  Knightstown’s junior varsity basketball team had plenty of opportunities to put Rushville away in the closing seconds, but the Lions took advantage of missed Panther free throws and a costly bad call by the officials to pull out a 40-38 win on a last-second shot.

In a see-saw battle that saw multiple lead changes – including eight in the fourth quarter alone – Rushville led by as many as five points and Knightstown at one time enjoyed a six-point advantage.

But the game came down to the final seconds in a dramatic finish that had fans from both schools on their feet throughout the fourth quarter. The Panthers took their last lead at 38-37 with 32 seconds on the game clock when Lane Fields scored inside off of a great pass from point guard Joey Wyatt.

At that stage of the game, Knightstown had been called for nine fouls and the Lions had been whistled for only three. At first it appeared that statistic would work against the hosts, who were running out of time and couldn’t send the Panthers to the free throw line immediately.

A missed shot was rebounded by Fields, and that is when the Lions began fouling Knightstown to stop the clock. The parade of fouls continued until just 10 seconds remained in the game, when the Panthers were finally sent to the line for the one-and-one bonus.

They missed. But on the ensuing rebound, a Rushville player knocked the ball out of bounds with less than five seconds to play. That should have, for the most part, clinched the game for the Panthers, but the official inexplicably ruled that a Knightstown player had knocked the ball out and awarded Rushville possession. The blatantly bad call happened right in front of the Knightstown bench and throng of fans, and they erupted in protest, to no avail.

Rushville then took possession and quickly moved the ball just past half-court, when star player Joas Knepp hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game. It was a great play by an outstanding player that never should have happened.

Knightstown got off to a slow start in the game, spotting the Lions to an early 5-0 lead in the game’s first 90 seconds. A free throw from Wyatt and seven straight points by Chris Mefford quickly sent the message that this was going to be a game. A three-pointer by Nolan Hall put Knightstown up 11-8 and completed an 11-3 run over a four minute span.

The Panthers increased that margin to six points at one time in the second quarter. After Rushville hit a trey to tie the game at 16-all, Knightstown got four straight points from Danny Ortman and a steal and lay-up by Jacob Taylor to pull ahead 22-16. That would be the Panthers’ biggest lead of the game. The Lions scored five straight points before Knightstown closed the half when Ortman scored again off of a nice pass from Mefford, putting the Panthers up 24-21 at the break.

Knightstown missed five straight crucial third quarter shots and the Lions were able to take a 30-26 lead. The Panthers hit just 3-of-10 attempts from the field in the period, but rebounds buckets by Fields and Mefford enabled the team to tie the game up heading into the final six minutes. That would be the last tie, 30-30, as the teams shared the lead with eight different lead changes in the final frame.

Fields and Anthony Forshey scored four points each in the last quarter.

Mefford led the Knightstown attack with nine points and seven rebounds. Fields scored four points and grabbed eight boards, while Ortman had six points and all came in the second quarter.

Hall had five points, five rebounds and three assists. Anthony Forshey scored four points, while Taylor had two points and three steals. Brandon Carrender had a second quarter trey for three points and Wyatt scored one point and had four assists.

The loss ended the Knightstown junior varsity’s season with a 16-4 record.



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