Panthers commit crucial turnover, lose 74-71.
The Knox Central Panthers took on the Corbin Redhounds on Friday night at home. The Redhounds (12-6) broke a three game winning streak by upsetting the Panthers (12-8), 74-71.
Knox Central had defeated Corbin by three points, 70-67, on Dec. 21 in the Knox Central Holiday Shootout and was coming off a big win against 13th Region opponent South Laurel, 59-54. The Panthers had strung together three consecutive wins including knocking off South Laurel and two 51st District opponents Barbourville and Lynn Camp.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 7-4 lead behind free throws from Matthew Barger and a three point jumper form Nate Cole. Dustin Hensley drove in for a lay up on an outlet pass from Cole to put the score at 7-4 with 5:24 left in the first quarter and forcing Corbin Head Coach Tony Pietrowski to call a time out.
The Redhounds answered Coach Peitrowski’s wake up call by scoring seven unanswered points and gaining a 7-11 advantage before Knox Central’s Tanner Wells broke the draught with a basket.
The end of the first quarter saw the Redhounds hold a slight advantage at the buzzer, 14-18.
Knox Central had a slow start in the first half of the second quarter with a shot off the mark by Dusting Hensley. The Panthers committed two turnovers and Chad Marsee committed and offensive foul to allow the Redhounds to push their four point lead at the end of one quarter to 11 points with 4:59 showing in the second quarter.
Knox Central chipped away at the lead the remainder of the second quarter and nursed a seven point deficit at half time, 38-45.
Both teams traded baskets in a physical third quarter with the Redhounds holding onto a shrinking six point lead, 54-60 to start the fourth quarter.
The Panther pulled within three points at the 5:27 mark from points from Dustin Hensley, Chad Marsee and Matthew Barger.
Senior shooting guard Dustin Hensley tied the game at 62-all when he connected on a three from the right side of the three point line at 4:59 in the fourth.
Corbin fought back with a three of their own from Connor Hopkins followed by a miss from Central’s Tanner Wells that rolled around the rim before coming off. Corbin’s Hopkins drained his second three in as many trips for a six point lead.
Knox Central’s Nate Cole, Tanner Wells and Delonie Graham scored seven points to knot the game at 69-69 with 1:18 remaining in regulation.
The Redhounds Zach Maguet threw a pass out of bounds to give the ball back to the Panthers with 56.8 seconds remaining in a tie ball game. Senior Matthew Barger crossed the half court line while looking at Coach Voight for instructions. Barger, while preparing to set up the final play, was picked by Corbin’s Maguet who took the ball in for a lay up and a fifth foul on Barger.
Maguet connected on the free throw for a 72-69 lead with 36.6 seconds remaining.
Central’s Tanner Wells scored in the paint to cut the lead to one with 20.2 seconds showing and the Panthers fouled to stop the clock putting Maguet on the line with 12.6 seconds. Maguest missed the front end of a one and one giving the Panthers a chance for a win. Nate Cole drove for a short jumper along the right side of the lane but was unable to connect and committed a foul with 6.2 seconds on the rebound. Corbin’s Kenny Hopper made both free throws for a three point advantage. The Panthers got a clear look at the basket as the buzzer sounded but Jeremy Stewart was unable to hit from the three point line giving the Redhounds a 71-74 victory.