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 Lights Out - Centerville Ousts Panthers in Sectional Semis, 60-54

March 11, 2009 -  A fast start and double-digit lead quickly fizzled away as the Knightstown Panthers were unable to sustain any momentum and fell to the Centerville Bulldogs in the semifinals of last weekend’s Hagerstown Sectional, 60-54.

The loss ended the Panthers’ season and enabled the Bulldogs to advance to the final against Eastern Hancock, which they won, 48-46.

Knightstown led early in the contest by as many as 12 points, but every time the Panthers appeared to gain control of the game’s tempo, turnovers and foul trouble, most on questionable calls by the officials, took away the team’s momentum.

In the first half alone, the whistle was blown against the Panthers 22 times in just 16 minutes of action. Knightstown was called for 26 fouls and 21 turnovers, allowing Centerville to outscore the Panthers 21-5 from the free throw line in the game. The Bulldogs were given 32 foul shots, compared to Knightstown’s seven attempts.

The Panthers led by a 22-10 margin at the midway point of the second quarter when Travis Titus ripped a long three-pointer. But during the last four minutes of the half Knightstown was whistled for three fouls and four turnovers. The fouls sent starters Zach Apollos, Seth Apollos and Lane to the bench.

Centerville took advantage of the mismatches, especially on the inside, and finished the half with a 15-2 run to take a 25-24 halftime lead and seize the game’s momentum.

The only thing that kept Knightstown in the game at that point had been senior guard Brice Biehl, who hit 3-of-4 first quarter field goals and had 10 points at halftime.

The Apollos brothers had been limited to a combined four points, all by Zach, and both sat on the bench during the last few key minutes of the half with foul trouble.

In the first minute of the third quarter Seth Apollos was called for his third foul – his second offensive foul – and went right back to the bench. At that point both Apollos brothers had been called for two offensive fouls as the officiating crew allowed Centerville extremely close contact under the basket and penalized the offensive players every time they attempted an inside move.

Biehl scored five more points in the third frame and Titus hit another trey, but the Bulldogs expanded their lead to 42-34 heading into the final quarter. During the third frame, the Panthers were whistled for four more turnovers and seven more fouls. Centerville was shooting the bonus from the free throw line with just under two minutes still left in the third quarter. It would be six more minutes before the Bulldogs would get tagged for their seventh foul in what was a very physical game.

When Centerville’s Drew Schauss climbed over the back of a Panther to grab an offensive rebound and score, the Bulldogs had extended their lead to 47-34 with 6:20 to play in the game. Centerville’s run going back to the 22-10 Panther lead in the second quarter had been 37-12.

The Bulldogs didn’t hit another field goal over the game’s last 6:20, but they didn’t have to. They scored their last 13 points from the charity stripe.

But the Panthers weren’t done in this one.

Zach Apollos scored and Anthony Hibbert hit a driving lay-up that made it 47-38. Then Lane was called for a questionable blocking foul against Matt Schauss, and he hit both free throws to make it 49-38. That was Lane’s fourth foul of the game.

Seth Apollos hit 3-of-4 free throws to trim the margin to 49-41, but on the ensuing trip down the court, he was called for his fourth foul, killing the Panther momentum. That 10th Knightstown foul put the Bulldogs in the double bonus and there was still 4:03 left in the game.

Drew Schauss hit a pair of free throws to put the Panthers back down by 10 points. But Biehl struck again with his fourth three-pointer of the night, and Jacob Stewart answered with a pair of free throws to make it 53-44 with 3:03 on the clock.

Zach Apollos spun from his defender and slammed home a dunk that caused the Knightstown cheering section to explode in a thunderous roar. The dunk cut the margin to seven points with two minutes to play. Then, in another momentum stealer, Zach was nailed for his fourth foul just 20 seconds later.

Centerville’s Brad Seigel hit one of the free throws to make it 54-46 before Knightstown nearly stole the show. Lane scored on a nice pass from Titus to cut the lead to six points, and the Panther press caused a Bulldog turnover.

Titus then drove home his third trey of the game, pulling the Panthers to within three points at 54-51 with 41 ticks on the clock. Stewart’s two free throws made it 56-51 before Biehl nailed his fifth three-pointer of the night to pull Knightstown to within one bucket at 56-54 with 15.5 seconds to play. The Panther run was 20-9 and occurred in just over four minutes.

But Centerville responded by hitting four straight free throws over the final 12 seconds to secure the win. Matt Schauss and Taylor combined to hit 10-of-10 free throws in the final period. The Bulldogs shot 18 free throws in the fourth quarter, hitting 14, compared to Knightstown’s 3-of-5 from the charity stripe in the final frame.

Centerville did not hit a field goal over the game’s final six minutes, but averaging three shots per minute from the free throw line, they didn’t need any. Knightstown was outscored 21-5 from the foul line during the game, including 15-3 in the fourth quarter.

Biehl played perhaps his best game of the season, finishing with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Zach Apollos hit on 5-of-6 field goals for 10 points and had eight boards, and Seth Apollos was held to just three points and nine rebounds. Lane was limited to just five points as that top three scoring trio for the Panthers combined for just 18 points in the game, about half of what they average collectively.

The biggest reason for that was the trio all spent most of the game in foul trouble, combing for six offensive fouls being called against them.

Titus played well by nailing three treys and scoring 11 points, including five during that dramatic fourth-quarter rally. Jordan Back and Anthony Hibbert scored two points apiece and Drew Martin grabbed five rebounds and played a solid defensive game.

The Panthers finished their season with a 13-9 record.


Score By Quarters

Knightstown 15 24 34 54

Centerville 8 25 42 60

Knightstown (54)

Player Fg-A Ft-a TP REB

Brice Biehl 8-17 0-0 21 3

Kelton Lane 2-5 0-0 5 1

Zach Apollos 5-6 0-1 10 8

Travis Titus 4-9 0-0 11 1

Seth Apollos 0-8 3-4 3 9

Drew Martin 0-0 0-0 0 5

Anthony Hibbert 1-3 0-0 2 2

Jordan Hauk 0-1 0-0 0 0

Jordan Back 0-1 2-2 2 2

Jacob Taylor 0-1 0-0 0 0

Anthony Forshey 0-0 0-0 0 0

Totals: 20-51 5-7 54 31

Centerville (60)

Player Fg-A Ft-a TP REB

Drew Schauss 7-13 7-14 21 6

Brad Siegel 1-2 1-2 3 3

Matt Schauss 2-6 8-8 13 2

Jacob Stewart 3-7 4-4 12 2

Cory Noelker 2-8 0-0 4 2

Wes Brandon 1-3 1-2 3 5

Derek Mounsey 1-2 0-0 2 3

Jacob Honkomp 1-1 0-2 2 3

Totals: 18-42 21-32 60 26

3-pointers: C - 3 (Stewart 2, M. Schauss), K - 9 (Biehl 5, Titus 3, Lane).

Turnovers: C - 14, K - 21.

Fouls: C - 15, K - 26.

Fouled out: S. Apollos, Lane.



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