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Midgets Take TRC Boys Contest In Overtime
By David Sharp
Putnam County fired in eight three pointers, helping erase a 12 point Knox County lead with 6:24 remaining in the fourth quarter for an 81-76 upset win at the Midget 2009 Courtwarming.
Dennis Dent led the Eagles (17-7, 5-2) with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Mallette paced Putnam County with 24 points. Mitchel Penn scored 22 Knox County points.
Putnam County made a lot things go their way, denying the Eagles sole possession of second place in the conference standings. The Midgets can tie Knox County for second with a win over Milan.
The February 20 contest was a match between the top seeded teams at the upcoming Marceline Class 2 district. Knox County earned the first boys’ seed, followed by Putnam County.
The Midgets (11-10, 4-2) sprang to an early 8-3 lead. The Eagles battled back within a field goal. Conor Middleton connected for three points for a 13-8 Putnam County lead with two minutes to play in the first quarter.
Parker Dixson pulled the Eagles within a 15-12 deficit with 1:07 showing on the first quarter clock. Putnam County held the 15-12 edge at the first break.
The Eagles kept the ball out of the paint defensively much of the second quarter. Putnam County compensated with a pair of home run balls. Dennis Dent pulled Knox County back within a field goal at the 2:47 mark of period two.
Parker Dixson buried a three run ball for a 23-21 Eagle lead with a minute showing on the first half clock. Blaine Robinson answered for Putnam County. Brett Wilkerson and Dennis Dent sank Knox County free throws for a 25-24 Eagle lead.
Putnam County guard Levi Miles fired in a three pointer at the buzzer for a 27-25 halftime lead. Midget playmaking ability was a key factor in the outcome. Knox County came out of the dressing room with a purpose.
The Eagles played some of their best defense of the night in the third period. Knox County got their inside to outside game going and put 28 points on the board. Putnam County stayed in the game from the three point arc.
Justin Reeves capped a 15-3 Knox County run to a 42-33 lead with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter. A pair of Midget three balls trimmed the Eagle lead back to 44-41 with 2:36 showing on the clock.
Mitchel Penn cashed in a free throw chance. Dennis Dent dialed long distance for a home run ball and a 48-41 Eagle lead. Putnam County turned the basketball over six times to Knox County’s one entering the last minute of the third quarter.
Brett Wilkerson’s put back gave Knox County a 53-44 lead at the three quarter pole. The Eagles outscored Putnam County 28-17 in the third period.
Knox County appeared headed for a decisive victory. The Eagles grabbed a 60-48 lead with 6:24 remaining in regulation time. Brett Bryant sank a pair of free throws for a 62-53 lead with 3:46 showing on the clock.
Putnam County bombed away from the arc. The Midgets were able to keep the ball out of the lane defensively much of the fourth quarter.
Brody Heidenwith pulled the long armed Midgets back within a 62-57 deficit with a three pointer at the three minute mark of period four. Putnam County completed an 11-3 run and pulled within a field goal with 1:53 to play in regulation time.
Knox County turned the ball over. Putnam County missed a key free throw. Levi Miles completed a three point play tying the score at 63. One official made an offensive foul signal on the play.
It was double bonus time for the Eagles. Parker Dixson tied the game with a free throw at the 1:14 mark. Lucas Hudson scored a key KCHS basket with 55 seconds left for a 66-64 Eagle lead.
Knox County’s single game boys’ record holder for steals came up with another theft. The Eagles missed two more free throws with 27.5 seconds to play in the game, leading by a 66-64 margin.
Putnam County had a chance to win the game from the three point arc. The Midgets went to Dan Minear in the lane. Minear scored two of his five points on the night with seven seconds remaining in the game, knotting the score at 66.
The Eagles could not get the winning shot, sending the affair to overtime tied at 66. Neither team shot free throws well in the fourth quarter, nor on the night. The Midgets sank two of six fourth quarter free throws and nine of 19 (47%) for the game.
Knox County could have avoided their predicament with a better night at the charity stripe. The Eagles were 14 of 32 from the free throw line on the night for 44%. Knox County sank five of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter and two of four in overtime.
Mitchel Penn scored seven of the Eagle’s ten overtime points including the first of the overtime period. Daniel Mallette scored 15 of his 24 points during the fourth quarter and in overtime. Mallette and Penn traded buckets.
Daniel Mallette completed a three point play for a 71-70 Midget lead with 2:50 on the clock. Conor Middleton nailed a key Putnam County three ball with 90 seconds to play in overtime.
Daniel Mallette put the home team ahead 76-73 with 47 ticks on the clock. Dennis Dent put a rebound back in the hole trimming the deficit to a point at 76-75 with 30 seconds to play in overtime.
Knox County pressured the Midgets into a turnover in front of the Eagle bench. Dennis Dent was whistled for an offensive foul away from the basketball before the ball was inbounded. Dent fouled out with 25 seconds to play in the game and Putnam County leading 76-75.
Putnam County extended their lead to 77-75 with a free throw. Knox County turned the ball over with 15 seconds showing on the clock. Blaine Robinson tossed in two PC free throws for a 79-75 lead.
Lucas Hudson took the ball to the hole. The shot would not fall. Hudson sank a free throw with 9.6 seconds to play in the game, pulling matters back to one possession at 79-76.
Brody Heidenwith followed the second of two missed free throws and rebounded with no other Midgets on the lane.
Levi Miles sealed the deal with two free throws. Putnam County completed the Tri-Rivers Conference sweep with an 81-76 victory. The Midgets have six players 6’3” or taller on their roster. Putnam County held an unofficial 31-29 rebounding edge on the night. The Midgets grabbed 11 of the first 12 caroms during the first 3:28 seconds.
Knox County turned the ball over 24 times to 15 unofficially. The Eagles dished out nine assists. Lucas Hudson and Mitchel Penn had three assists and four steals each. Dennis Dent had both KCHS blocked shots. The Eagles held a 12-9 advantage in team steals.
Blaine Robinson backed up Daniel Mallette’s 24 points with 13 Midget points. Brody Heidenwith was in double figures with 12 points. Levi Miles and Conor Middleton scored nine Putnam County points each.
Keenan Gillaspy will be out of the Eagle lineup at least three weeks with a stress fracture. Mitchel Penn scored 19 points during the second half and overtime. Penn finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Justin Reeves scored nine points with five rebounds. Brett Wilkerson scored seven points. Parker Dixson and Lucas Hudson scored six KCHS points each. Brett Bryant added two Knox County points.
The Eagles have one more regular season game on their slate. Knox County travels to Atlanta on Thursday, February 26. The top seeded Eagles have a first round district bye.
Knox County will take on Scotland County or North Shelby in their first district game on Thursday, March 5 at 6PM. The Marceline District boy’s championship game is slated for Saturday, March 7 at 4PM.