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By David Sharp
Knox County fans were buzzing about the Eagle boys pulling a one point buzzer beating win out of the fire at the January 18, 2024 edition of the North Shelby Tournament. The Lady Eagles took the court against Marion County in the next game.
Kennedy Parrish picked up the ball and scored the game winning basket as time expired for a 34-33 win. The final shot came from nearly the same spot on the court Robert Dooley sent the Eagle boys into the consolation championship game.
The contest was close most of the way. Marion County (5-7) looked like they would run away with the win at the end. The Lady Mustangs converted a 16-14 Knox County halftime lead into a 26-21 edge entering the fourth quarter.
Riley Holt buried a Mustang three for a 29-21 Marion County lead with 7:26 remaining in the game. Ayala Pollard gave Marion County a 31-22 edge.
Neither team played their best game. Turnovers and bad passes came more often than anyone would have liked to see. Knox County probably won the game at the free throw line.
The Lady Eagles hit 16 of 24 from the charity stripe. Marion County was 5-11 on the night from the line. The Lady Eagles struggled to get or make quality scoring chances from the field.
Most of the fuel for a game winning 11-3 Lady Eagle run came from the free throw line. Both teams reached and fouled all too often.
“We didn’t play our best game,” Knox County coach Kyle Ellison said. “I told them it was probably one of our worst games. We are trying to get better and working to find a way to win.”
“We made free throws at the end. Our game plan was to get to the rim early,” Kyle Ellison said. “It helped getting to the free throw line. We got into the bonus early. We kept it close.”
“We drew up a play at the end and executed it,” Coach Ellison said. “We dropped one in. It was a pretty play. This was kind of a tossup after the top two seeds in this tournament. We’re excited to play. We haven’t really played for a month.”
“We’re making progress as the season goes on.” Adison Strong and Kennedy Parrish canned free throws in the last four minutes. Strong scored six of her 13 points with the game on the line in those final four minutes.
Adison Strong stole the ball and scored for a 31-28 deficit with two minutes remaining. She sank two more free throws after taking advantage of a Marion County turnover for a 32-31 Eagle lead with 43 seconds remaining.
Kennedy Hathaway scored for Marion County for a 33-32 edge with 13.6 seconds remaining. Knox County brought the ball down the court as time ran down. “I knew with that pass coming in I had to put it up,” Kennedy Parrish said about the game winning play.
“There were only two seconds. The ball got there. I shot and the ball went in,” Kennedy Parrish said. “I knew the team needed a win. We were doing good before the Christmas break. Then we kind of slacked with all the snow and stuff.”
“We couldn’t go to practice. It’s good for the team to get a win and get back on the right path again. If you work hard and push during the games, you never know what the final outcome will be.”
“You have just got to play hard,” Kennedy Parrish said.
Adison Strong and Kennedy Parrish scored a game high 13 points each. Myleigh Miller scored three points. Savanna Schrage and Abby Becker put in two points each. Lilli Penn added one KCHS point.
Ayala Pollard led Marion County with 12 points. Riley Holt scored seven Mustang points. Kennedy Hathaway put in four points. Grace Jensen Page put in three and Maya Bock added two Marion County points.