Panthers pick up ‘huge’ road win.

Knox Central downs Region opponent Whitley County, 73-61

The Knox Central Panthers got back on track last Tuesday with a huge road win over regional opponent Whitley Couty, 73-61.

Senior Forward Delonie Graham and Senior Matthew Barger stepped up with 27 points each to help the Panthers (14-11) break a four game losing streak.

Head Coach Jamie Voight said after the game that this win was huge for his team. “It was a huge win for us. This is a good team. Anytime you can get a road win in the region it is a good win.”

Voight said that his team needs to work on ball control. The Panthers had 16 turnovers in the 12 point victory. “We have to make better decisions with the ball. We made some bad passes and played out of control at times. We have to limit our turnovers to 10 or less to be successful [against the better teams].”

The Panthers struck first with a quick basket by Matthew Barger and played to a 6-6 tie with 4:49 remaining in the first quarter.

Delonie Graham put up the next five points with the first basket coming from an assist from Nate Cole that found Graham on the block for an easy lay-up. Graham added three more off of a Barger miss when he rebounded and put the ball back in and was fouled for a traditional three point play.

The Panthers held a four point advantage at the end of one, 17-13.

In the second quarter, Knox Central scored two quick baskets. Barger added a bucket and on their next possession he found Chad Marsee in the lane for another easy basket for an eight point advantage, 21-13.

The Panthers extended their lead to eleven at the 5:28 mark in the second quarter and entered the locker room at half-time with a comfortable 12 point advantage, 36-24.

Senior Matthew Barger led the way in the half with 16 points followed by 10 from Delonie Graham and six from Chad Marsee.

To open the third quarter, Whitley County (16-7) committed three straight turnovers but Knox Central could not take advantage. Tanner Wells and Chad Marsee both missed in close and Wells committed and offensive foul. After a miss on Whitley’s next possession, Knox Central’s Graham was fouled and added a free throw to push the lead to 13 points.

The Panthers were determined to play an inside-out game for the rest of the quarter and allowed Whitley County to inch back into the game, 44-40, at the end of the third quarter.

Knox Central pushed the lead back out to seven with 6:17 remaining in the game but Whitley would not give in and pulled within one point, 59-58, at the 2:28 mark.

The Panthers scored the next 12 points behind six from Delonie Graham to seal the victory 73-61.

Coach Voight was pleased with the win but said that his team has to get better on defense. “We talk about defense all the time. If you look at the statistics for the Region, we lead the region in points scored by 200 points over the next team. It’s not even close. [On the other hand] defensively we give up the most points. Tonight was the best half court defense we have played all season and we have to pick up on this and continue to go each and every day.

In other action, the Panthers defeated Leslie County the following Saturday, 77-38.