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By David Sharp
A strong third quarter helped Knox County (2-2) win seventh place in the boy’s bracket of the 2nd Annual Tri-Rivers Classic Tournament at Schuyler County. The Eagles and Rams dueled to a 22-19 halftime lead. Knox County played without center Robert Mauck due to injury.
Coltin Morrow connected on a home run ball with 1:20 to play in the first half. Rylan Roberts sank a three-ball then Conner Hayes drove for a field goal, lifting the Eagles to a 29-19 lead with 5:39 to go in the third quarter.
The Eagles also found themselves in foul trouble from the second quarter on.
Knox County settled in during the third period, reeling off a 14-0 run. Braydon Miller finished a Conner Hayes feed for a 39-22 lead with 22 seconds to play in the period. Knox County took a 39-24 lead to the final eight minutes.
Schuyler County battled back with a 11-1 run. Trevyn Small pulled the Rams back within a 40-31 deficit with 4:20 to play in the game. Lincoln Smyser capped the burst with a hoop at the 3:20 mark.
Trent Klocke stemmed the tide with a field goal 20 seconds later. The Eagles took time off the clock. Braydon Miller and Conner Hayes sank free throws leading to a 47-33 Eagle lead with 38 ticks on the fourth-quarter clock.
Braydon Miller closed the book with a bucket at the 18-second mark. Knox County claimed the 49-33 win. “We have got a lot of guys figuring things out,” Knox County coach Zach Short said.
“The only difference between the first two quarters and the third quarter was our aggressiveness on defense,” Zach Short said. “We went to a zone to protect Jacob (Becker) and Trent (Klocke). We matched up the way we are supposed to, hard. We got after it. We didn’t hardly have to press at all. We were getting anything we wanted with our half-court defense.”
“That’s what I wanted to see,” Coach Short said. “We take great shots. We don’t always make them. What we have started to see hopefully is some of the younger guys start to understand that at the varsity level, no matter who your opponent is you have to play fast.”
“You can’t just let it come to you. You have to go get it,” Zach Short said. “We saw that in the third quarter, and it was enough to propel us to a win.”
Conner Hayes led all scorers with 16 Knox County points. Jacob Becker scored nine points. Trent Klocke put in eight KCHS points. Braydon Miller scored seven. Rylan Roberts tallied four points and Coltin Morrow added four points.
Trevyn Small scored 13 Schuyler County points. Mason Moncrief was in double figures with ten Ram points.