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 JV Boys Fall to Bulldogs 29-27

February 18, 2009 -  Knightstown’s junior varsity boys basketball team got into a deep hole early, fought back into the game and eventually fell at Centerville Saturday, 29-27.

The Panthers shot poorly in the first half, falling behind by as many as nine points. Centerville expanded on that lead and went up by as many as 11 in the third quarter before Knightstown finally began finding its shooting touch. The Bulldogs had extended their lead to 20-9 in the third quarter.

The Panthers hit on just 3-of-7 field goals in the third quarter, and then things got worse when they connected on just 1-of-7 in the second frame. That poor shooting enabled the Bulldogs to open up a 10-6 lead after one period. They increased that margin to 16-7 and eventually 20-9 at one point during the third quarter, at which point the Panthers had hit on just 4-of-23 from the field.

At that point Knightstown finally began playing its style of basketball, actually outscoring the hosts during a 16-4 run that gave them a short-lived lead.

Centerville led 16-9 at the half before eventually going up by their game-high margin of 11 points. At that point the Panthers had connected on just 4-of-19 field goals. But Knightstown’s defensive pressure picked up on the ensuing series of plays, sparked by three straight blocked shots by Lane Fields. Chris Mefford hit a free throw and Aaron Forshey got a clutch rebound basket that cut the lead to 20-12 with 1:20 left in the third quarter.

Centerville, which utilized an offensive strategy that ate up considerable clock on every possession, then threw one pass too many on the next possession. Joey Wyatt stole the ball and fed Anthony Forshey, who drilled a three-pointer that suddenly cut the margin to 20-15.

Aaron Forshey followed with a lay-up on a fast break to complete an 8-0 Panther run and trim the deficit to 20-17, marking the closest the Panthers had been since the first quarter. A Bulldog bucket stopped the bleeding and increased their lead to 22-17 entering the final frame.

Through those first three quarters, Knightstown connected on just 7-of-27 field goals, horrendous shooting considering the fact that the Panthers made three of their last four tries at the end of the period.

A steal by Nolan Hall put the Panthers back on the offensive, and Aaron Forshey hit Mefford with a great pass to cut the margin to 22-19. On the next three Centerville possessions, three questionable fouls were called on the Panthers, putting the Bulldogs in the bonus situation with four minutes left in the game.

As the gymnasium began filling, crowds on both sides started to get into the game when Knightstown struck again. Wyatt went inside to Mefford, who looked like a 1950s throwback when he hit a 12-foot hook shot to cut the Centerville lead to one, 22-21, with 3:50 to play.

Centerville hit two free throws to pull back up by three points, and Aaron Forshey, whose pivot foot never moved, was whistled for a controversial traveling call on the ensuing trip down the floor.

Knightstown stopped the Bulldogs on the next possession due to great defensive pressure, and Mefford electrified the Panther following by drilling a 15-foot jumper to pull the Panthers back to within one at 24-23, with 2:44 to play.

Danny Ortman’s defensive pressure forced another Bulldog turnover, and the Knightstown crowd came to its feet when Anthony Forshey scored on a great backdoor pass from Mefford. That gave the Panthers their first lead since the four-minute mark of the first quarter.

Centerville responded with a pair of free throws, and the Panthers missed on their next possession. But Anthony Forshey got the rebound and Ortman hit Mefford with a nice pass for two more inside that returned the lead to the Panthers at 27-26 with 1:11 to play.

Knightstown then missed a golden opportunity to put the game away when the team failed to convert on consecutive front ends of one-and-one bonuses. Centerville got a rebound basket and another free throw to clinch the game.

The Panthers set up a great play with just 3.4 seconds left when Aaron Forshey took a pass and mid-court and fed Ortman underneath the basket. But the Centerville defender made a good play and had forced Ortman too far inside. He couldn’t get off a good shut at the buzzer.

The Bulldogs scored five of their last seven points from the free throw line and hit just one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Despite playing horribly through most of three periods, Knightstown responded well down the stretch. Mefford had a tremendous fourth quarter, scoring six of his seven points and finishing with seven rebounds as well.

Anthony Forshey had six points and also pulled down seven boards. Aaron Foshey had six points, Fields scored four and Jacob Taylor and Lucas Hochstedler scored two apiece.

The boys host Waldron Friday night after traveling to Hagerstown Wednesday. Both games have a 6 p.m. tip-off.

 

 

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