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 Lady Panthers Scratch 14-Year Itch, Beat Raiders; 49-34 Win Over Shenandoah is First Since 1995 Season

January 28, 2009 -  Knightstown’s varsity girls basketball team had not defeated Shenandoah in 14 years, a span dating back to the 1995 season and featuring the longest losing streak against any team on the regular season schedule.

That drought came to an end Friday night during the boys and girls doubleheader in front of the largest home crowd of the season for any boys or girls home game.

The win improved Knightstown’s record to 11-5 on the season and marked the fifth consecutive win for coach Dawn Basicker and her Lady Panthers. The girls have won nine of their last 12 and finished their final season of White River Athletic Conference play with a 2-1 record.

The game started out about as sloppy as any the Lady Panthers have been involved in this season. Knightstown and Shenandoah combined for multiple turnovers in the opening quarter and more than 20 by halftime.

Shenandoah got a couple of shots to fall in the opening quarter and led 11-8 after one stop. But the Lady Panthers dominated the game from that point on, using a second quarter flurry to open up a 27-24 halftime lead. Despite that 19-point outburst in the second frame, Knightstown committed 14 first half turnovers.

But an early explosion in the third quarter by sophomore Megan Hiner turned a close game into a blowout. The Panthers got a late bucket in the second quarter when Natosha Hiner scored on a full-court pass from Sabrina Hatfield to complete the 19-13 second quarter run and give Knightstown its three-point cushion at the half.

After Jocelyn Sturgill got things started in the third quarter with a rebound basket to make it 29-24, Megan Hiner took over the game.

Megan stole the ball at half court and took it in for a layup to make the score 31-24. She then stole the ball on the ensuing possession and fed Danielle Altman for two more points to increase the lead to nine points.

But the younger Hiner wasn’t done. She stole the ball on a third straight possession and hit the lay-up to put Knightstown up by double digits at 35-24. Then, on Shenandoah fourth time in a row down the court, Hiner came up with her fourth steal of the quarter, taking the ball inside for a lay-up once again to stretch the lead to 37-24 ad the midway point of the third quarter.

After a tightly played game through the first half, the Lady Panthers took a 39-26 lead into the fourth quarter because of those heads-up defensive plays. In the meantime, the Lady Raiders didn’t respond to the Knightstown attack, hitting just 1-of-13 field goals in the third quarter.

The first four minutes of the fourth quarter featured multiple turnovers again, and Megan Hiner picked up her fourth foul at the 5:21 mark, sending her to the bench. After Knightstown suffered through an eight-minute scoring drought that stretched back into the third quarter, Shenandoah managed to cut the lead to 40-30, the Lady Panthers finally got back on track.

Freshman Kaelee Kuhn hit two free throws and another freebie by Sabrina Hatfield increased the lead to 43-30. Hatfield then knocked down two more tosses from the charity stripe, while Sturgill and Natosha Hiner each connected on 1-of-2 from the line, upping the lead to 47-32.

The Lady Panthers committed 22 turnovers in the contest and missed 13 free throws, but won the game with a tenacious defense that resulted in 10 steals. Megan Hiner led the girls with 14 points, garnering five steals and five rebounds. Natosha Hiner had a team-high six assists to go along with her six points and two steals.

Sturgill finished with seven points and four boards, while Hatfield scored six points and pulled down four rebounds. Kuhn had six points, Altman scored five and Brittany Brown tallied five points.

The Lady Panthers improved their record to 11-5 on the season and have won nine of their last seven games. The girls play at home against New Castle tonight (Wednesday).

BY THE NUMBERS

Score By Quarters

Shenandoah 11 13 2 8 - 34

Knightstown 8 19 12 10 - 49

Player Fg-a Ft-a Tp Stl Ast Reb

Brittany Brown 2-2 1-4 5 1 0 2

Natosha Hiner 1-5 4-6 6 2 6 1

Megan Hiner 7-14 0-2 14 5 0 5

Danielle Altman 2-3 1-3 5 0 1 2

Kaelee Kuhn 1-3 4-4 6 0 1 1

Jocelyn Sturgill 3-4 1-3 7 2 1 4

Sabrina Hatfield 0-0 6-8 6 0 1 4

Totals: 16-31 17-30 49 10 10 19

3-point Shooting: K 0-5.

Turnovers: K – 21. S – 24.

Blocked Shots: K – 4 (Sturgill 3, M. Hiner 1).

 

 

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