Voight’s Panthers defeat Tigers in rivalry match-up.

Knox Central hands Barbourville 93-78 loss.

The Knox Central Panthers made the short trip to the Barbourville Tiger gymnasium this past week as Central Head Coach Jamie Voight was introduced to his first Knox Central-Barbourville basketball game. Voight’s Panthers (11-7), coming off a two game losing streak, were up to the task as they handed the Tigers (12-5) a 93-78 loss.

Head Coach Voight said after the game, “We needed this after the way we played last week. We were really embarrassed with the way we played up there [at the WYMT Mountain Classic]. We knew we had to come in here and not worry about all the fans or anything else, it was more important that we go 2-0 in district play and win this game.

The Tigers jumped out to an early 9-2 lead behind early scoring from Tate Carter, Wade Liford, Brently Perry and Markelle Turner. Carter spotted up for a three pointer for the opening basket of the game that allowed Barbourville to hold the lead until the clock showed 3:10 in the first quarter when Dustin Hensley connected for his own three pointer along the left hand baseline to give Knox Central their first lead of the game at 13-11.

The Panthers held a 22-19 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The Tiger’s Wade Liford opened up the second quarter with a basket to cut the lead to 21-22 before Chad Marsee scored on the block and pulled down an offensive rebound on the next possession and laid it back in for two more points. After an empty possession from the Tigers, Central’s Hensley connected on a three pointer to give the Panthers a nine point advantage at 30-21.

Both teams traded baskets until half-time which allowed the Panthers to go into the half with a nine point lead at 44-35.

“We couldn’t get shots to go in on our end and bad things happen when you are playing a good team that has good shooters and you are not hitting” said Barbourville coach Dinky Phipps.

Knox Central came out in the third quarter and attacked the zone defense that the Tigers were playing for most of the game. Panther’s big man, Chad Marsee, touched the ball almost every trip down the floor and scored six points early in the quarter to push the lead to 15 at 55-40 at the 4:40 mark in the third quarter.

Knox Central saw the lead inch to 16 at the end of the quarter, 70-54.

We made an adjustment [at halftime] to post up Marsee. I told them, even though they are in the zone, that we do not have to settle for three’s. We can work high-low and take whatever we can get inside. It was something we could attack and that is what we did in the third quarter” said Panther Coach Jamie Voight.

Phipps’ Tigers did not give up as they came out in the fourth with an opening basket from Wade Liford. Central answered with a bucket from Matthew Barger and Nate Cole followed by two baskets from Barbourville’s Brandon Gray to cut the lead to 74-60 with 5:26 remaining in the game.

The Tigers Wade Liford rallied off six unanswered points on a three point shot and a traditional three point play to cut the lead to eight with 4:38 remaining.

The Panthers regained their composure and pulled away for a final score of 93-78.

“Last week we played terrible. We know that was not our level. The last three days of practice we did not work on any offense; it has all been defense” said Voight.

“That was the big emphasize on coming into tonight. We will always be able to score the ball, but we have to be able to guard somebody. That was the big key” continued Coach Voight.

“We were in better positioning tonight. We guarded the ball a little bit harder. Maybe it had something to do with a rivalry game or maybe this is the game we needed to get us ready to play at the defensive end.”

“Overall I am very pleased with tonight.”