Knox County Boys Take Consolation Championship

Knox County Boys Take Consolation Championship

Knox County
Boys Take Consolation
Championship

By David Sharp

Knox County expanded an 11-6 first quarter
lead with a period closing 9-2 run and went on to a 68-36 victory over Brashear
in the 24th Annual North Shelby Tournament boy’s consolation
championship game.

The Eagles stole the basketball 15 times,
five by Leighton McCabe in the first quarter.

Knox County (7-6) employed their full court
man-to-man pressure defense, causing Tiger turnovers and good scoring chances.
Leighton McCabe drove past Brashear standout Hayden Housman for the final
points of a 20-8 first quarter score.

Knox County ran the court forging a 33-9
lead with four minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The
Tigers (2-12) battled back to a 39-18 halftime deficit.

The Eagles’ brand of speed and ball
pressure is rarely seen on the Class 1 level. Knox County took up where they
left off in the second half.

Kellen Gillaspy finished a fast break off a
Leighton McCabe steal and assist for a 48-26 Eagle lead with 3:26 to play in
the third quarter.

Jesse Miller gave Knox County a 60-30
advantage with ten seconds to play in the third quarter. “We looked to get it
in the middle down low,” Kellen Gillaspy said after a ten point night.

“Why not put the ball in the hole when you
have an opening? The best you can do without getting first or third place is
get two wins and a trophy.”

Knox County lost to eventual second place
finisher North Shelby in the first round.
Jeremy Barnes pulled the Tigers back within a 64-36 deficit with two
minutes to play in the game.

Brady Johnson completed a Knox County three
point play at the 1:03 mark for a 67-36 lead. Joe Englebrecht capped game
scoring with a free throw as the running clock expired.

“Their pressure was the difference maker,”
Tiger coach Tony Keene said. “Our boys are not used to seeing that kind of
speed and ball pressure. They played their guts out last night.”

“We came back less than 24 hours later to
do it again. We were worn out,” Coach Keene said of Brashear’s overtime victory
over Schuyler County.

“My starters played all 36 minutes last
night. They were just dog tired. I think their speed and pressure just took its
toll.”

Joe Clarkson scored 17 points leading Brashear.
Hayden Housman was in double figures with ten points. Jeremy Barnes put in
seven points. Taren Treasure scored six points. Joseph Woods added one Tiger
point.

Brashear sank 14 of 18 team free throws for
78%. Royce Poore led all scorers with 19 Knox County points. Leighton McCabe
finished with six of his team’s 15 steals and 13 points.

Kellen Gillaspy was in double figures with
ten points. Nine different Knox County players scored. Five Tigers dented the
scorebook. Knox County went 14 of 21 from the charity stripe for 67%.

Donovan Edwards turned in another strong
game with eight Eagle points. Sharri Edwards was 6-8 from the free throw line,
finishing with six points. Brady Johnson scored five Eagle points.

Joe Englebrecht scored three points. Jesse
Miller and Andrew Hunolt added two points each. “They came off of a big win
last night,” Knox County coach Zach Summers said of the Tigers. “It was a late
game. We wanted to control the game early.”

“They were riding a high from last night. They
didn’t know how tired they were. We wanted to run them up and down and get them
out of that emotional high,” Zach Summers said. “We got a little lazy in the
second quarter. We kept taking bad angles on defense and putting them on the
free throw line.”

Eight of the ten second quarter Brashear
points were earned at the free throw line. “We have to be aggressive, but we
have to be disciplined,” Zach Summers said.

We weren’t very disciplined on defense in
the first half. That led to fouls and putting them on the free throw line.”

“That game is over in the first half if we
don’t foul.” Brashear plays at Knox County in January 30 non-conference action.