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By David Sharp
Knox County took advantage of Canton missed scoring chances to build a 10-3 first quarter lead in Class 2, District 6 boys semifinal action. The Tigers started hitting outside shots, clawing back within three points late in the third quarter.
Knox County (15-10) reeled off a decisive 11-0 fourth quarter run for a 55-48 win. The Eagles sank 14 of 21 free throw attempts. The Eagles were able to defend without sending the Tigers to the free throw line. Canton went 3-7 from the stripe.
The Eagles opened up the back and forth game when Braydon Miller hit a ten footer with 1:45 remaining in the second quarter for a 21-10 lead. Knox County paced a 23- 13 halftime score.
Dalton Berhorst pulled Canton back to a 32-29 deficit with a three ball at the 30 second mark of the third quarter. Braydon Miller struck again with a Knox County home run ball with one second on the third quarter clock.
The Eagles led 35-29 after three periods of play. Canton did a good job defending the lane. Jacob Becker scored ten points before fouling out late in the contest. Dalton Berhorst led Canton with 18 points.
Center Kyle Frazier scored 15 points. Preston Brewer tallied nine points. Zach Sparrow scored six points. ”We had it down to one point, then we threw it away,” Canton coach Ron Curtis said of the Tiger come back tries.
“We had the rebound then we threw it away. They are a good team,” Ron Curtis said. “Coach (Nathan) Miller is a really good coach. He is a good friend. I enjoy him. This is a good bunch of kids. I enjoyed working with them.”
Canton scored the first six points of the fourth quarter. Dalton Berhorst tied the game (according to this reporter’s game notes) at 35 with 5:46 remaining in the game. Nelson Shinkle scored for a 39-35 KC lead at the 5:29 mark of the fourth quarter.
Canton turned the ball over. Braydon Miller pushed the Knox County run to 7-0 with a three ball with 4:44 showing on the clock. Jacob Becker gave the Eagles a 46-35 lead with three minutes remaining.
“We knew the season was on the line,” Braydon Miller said. “We had to come out and play. Our team put us in a successful spot tonight. We had it drawn up before we came here tonight. We knew what we needed to execute.”
Dalton Berhorst tossed in a three for a 49-40 Eagle margin with 2:17 to play in the game. Zach Sparrow pulled the Tigers back within a 52- 46 score with 48 seconds remaining. Braydon Miller sank a KC free throw.
Knox County was able to hold off a talented, young Canton team by the 55-48 final score. Braydon Miller scored a game high 19 points. Jacob Becker was in double figures with ten points.
Knox County had good scoring balance. Nelson Shinkle and Branson Miller scored seven points each. Kellen Parrish put in five points. Tanner Gillaspy scored four points. Carter Marble added three points.
“We knew from watching their game with Schuyler County that was a team that was going to battle no matter what,” Knox County coach Nathan Miller said. “Just like everybody knows, this is a game of runs. We gave it a good little push there at the end.”
“We ended up getting some shots to fall at the end of the fourth quarter. Ultimately, we just held on and were able to come up with the win,” Nathan Miller said.