By David Sharp
Knox County (18-4, 6-0 in the Lewis and Clark Conference. Ranked Eighth in Missouri Boys Class 2) overcame a 13-0 Fayette run along with a seven minute scoreless second half span for a thrilling 59-55 win over a tough Fayette team in February 9, 2017 conference action at Knox County.
The Falcons (14-8, 1-4) outscored Knox County 21-16 in made field goals. Fayette missed half of their 26 free throw attempts sinking 13 from the charity stripe.
Knox County struggled offensively while three of their leading players sat out in foul trouble Fayette forward Tommy Phillips picked up his fourth foul for Fayette around the 4:21 mark of the second quarter. Phillips did not foul out of the hard fought contest.
“I’m not sure I have been more proud of a team since I have been here,” sixth year Knox County head boy’s basketball coach Zach Summers said. “”We have had some pretty nice comebacks.”
“With our three leading scorers in foul trouble, the other guys had to be in a basketball game and just kind of keep us afloat,” Zach Summers said. “Those guys kept us in it until those three guys got back in, and look what happened.”
“We found a way and just closed that thing out,” Zach Summers said.
Fayette guard Chase Huthman fouled out in the fourth quarter. Charging fouls were in play during the boys and girl’s game. An unofficial total of eight charges were called against Knox County.
Noah Talton led Knox County with 20 points despite being the recipient of four charging fouls during the boy’s game. Jessica Anderson was one of three Lady Eagles in double figures with 11 points. Anderson was whistled for two charging fouls.
Knox County coach Zach Summers was recognized before the boy’s contest for picking up his 100th career coaching victory at Scotland County on February 7, 2017.
Zach Summers was assessed a technical four for disputing an offensive foul call with 5:50 remaining in the second quarter. Summers was assessed another technical foul and disqualified from the game.
Coach Summers will have to sit out the Eagle Senior Night Game against North Shelby on Friday night.
Fayette missed two of four free throws. Knox County fans roared their displeasure. A fired up Eagle team turned a 24-18 lead to a 37-28 halftime margin. Knox County led a hard fought game 43-32 with 5:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Fayette began a gritty comeback. The Falcons went on a streak of 13 unanswered points, holding Knox County scoreless for around seven minutes until Noah Talton buried a three pointer for a 46-45 Falcon lead with 6:11 showing on the game clock.
“I am just so proud of the way the guys played,” Fayette boys coach Ben Pallardy said. “Especially in a hostile environment. The fans up here are super into the game.”
“We were playing against one of the best teams in the state,” Ben Pallardy said. “A team that made it one game from the final four last year. Everybody knows they are good. To be able to come back with your best ball handler in terrible foul trouble.”
Fayette took a 52-46 lead when Blake Dawson scored with 3:34 remaining in regulation time. Kyle Strange sank a pair of KCHS free throws. Tommy Phillips stole the ball and scored a Falcon bucket for a 54-48 lead with 3:10 remaining in the game.
“We had the lead,” Coach Pallardy said. “It’s that constant pressure. I felt like we did a good job handling it. We were sticking to our game plan. We make a mistake on one possession and they take advantage. That is why they are such a good team.”
“They are able to win close games. They are very well coached. They play so hard. You really have to tip your hat to them for being able to hold their composure,” Ben Pallardy said.
“I think it was just a great ball game,” Coach Pallardy said. “It was a shame that somebody had to lose it.”
Knox County scored the next five points. Cory Moubry canned a home run ball followed by Noah Talton feeding Hunter Klocke for a 54-53 Falcon lead with 2:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Tommy Phillips sank a free throw with a minute remaining for a two point lead. Knox County fans exploded when Hunter Klocke tied the game a 55 with 48.7 seconds to play.
Fayette threw the ball away for a turnover. Hayden Miller laid the ball in for a contested lay up with 43 ticks on the clock. Hayden Miller cashed in another Fayette turnover for a 59-55 lead with 11 seconds on the clock.
Fayette missed a three point attempt. Knox County got the ball back and ran out the remaining time for a 59-55 lead. Hayden Miller scored 16 points. Kyle Strange was the third Eagle in double digits with 11 points. Hunter Klocke scored four. Cory Moubry and Nick Edwards scored three points each and Logan Miller added two points.
Blake Dawson scored a game high 24 Falcon points. Tommy Phillips fired in 15 points. Chase Huthman put in eight before fouling out in the fourth period.
Knox County’s girls snapped a five game conference losing skid with a dominating 51-27 victory over Fayette (7-15, 0-5) Knox County (9-13, 1-5) bolted to a 17-2 first quarter lead and never looked back.
“Really happy with the way we started the game,” Knox County girls coach Keith Gudehus said. “I felt like we were really focused in the first quarter. I was glad to see the intensity there.”
The Lady Eagles used their speed to their advantage. Knox County blocked out on the boards, getting more than their share of rebounds. Knox County led 29-11 at the half and 36-19 after three quarters.
“We learned that we need to be more patient on offense,” All District forward Sidney Miller said. “We need to shoot to score. Not just shoot. “If our defense is good, our offense will come as long as we are patient.” Sidney Miller scored a game high 13 points. Madison McCabe and Jessica Anderson were in double figures with 11 points each.
Knox County plays their senior night on Friday, February 10, 2017. The Eagles host North Shelby.
“Emotions were high there for awhile,” Eagle assistant coach Zach Short said. Coach Short and Clay Talton finished the game on the Eagle bench. “They dug really deep. You don’t know how kids are going to respond.”
“If anything they were plenty ready to co. I’m very proud of them,” Zach Short said. “It showed a lot of maturity. Even when things weren’t going their way they were able to shake it off.”
“They made the next play. When it got down to the last minute, that’s exactly what we did,” Zach Short said.