The Knox Central Panthers took to the hardwood on Dec. 9 in their home opener with an 81-62 trouncing of the Harlan County Black Bears.
The Bears (4-1) played to an 8-8 tie mid-way through the first quarter until Dustin Hensley and Matthew Barger each chipped in six points each to give Knox Central (2-2) a 22-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers extended their lead in the second quarter to 14 points, 40-26. Junior guard Blaine Wyatt added the first score to advance the lead to 24-15 followed by a three pointer by Matthew Barger for a 27-17 advantage. Chad Marsee added two buckets in the paint followed by another score by Barger to put the Bears into a double digit deficit at 33-21. Marsee added two more baskets along with a score from Senior Dustin Hensley to end the half with a 14 point lead at 40-26.
The third quarter saw the Panthers extend their lead to 20 points half way through the quarter and extend it to 26 by the end of the third. The Panthers cruised to a final 19 point victory.
Head Coach James Voight said after the game, “I was pleased that we were able to get out and run. We controlled the tempo of the game and that is how we like to play. We like to get out and run and pressure the ball. We got quite a few run-outs which led to easy baskets. When you pressure them and get them to take quick shots and limit them to one shot then you are able to grab the rebound and get out and go. We did that well tonight.”
The Panthers lost on the road three days earlier to Bryan Station 53-56 and lost for the second time of the season three days after the Harlan County game on the road to Boyle County 75-90. On Dec. 13 Knox Central took back to the road against Casey County and walked away with a 90-86 victory in overtime.
The Panthers will be back in action on Dec. 19 at home when they take on Powell County in the Knox Central Holiday Shootout.