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March 8, 2012

Tigers Toppled in Opening Round of District Tourney

Lucas Howard blocks a shot during district play. (Photo by Chuck Kigar)

A season that started with high hopes for a senior-laden starting five, ended prematurely Tuesday night in the opening round of the Class 2 District 6 Tournament with three members of the graduating class on the bench in street clothes due to injuries.

The Tigers went into post season play shorthanded, courtesy of season-ending surgery for Brock Bondurant and Derrick Muntz early in the year and the loss of point guard Drew Miller to an ankle injury during the final week of the regular season.

Knox County took advantage of SCR-I injury problems, knocking out the Tigers 46-35 in the first round of the district playoffs.

The Tigers didn't appear to miss the starters early on, as SCR-I built an 11-7 lead to end the first period as Jacob Blessing hit a three pointer just before the buzzer.

The two teams traded buckets, and the lead back and forth for much of the second period, with SCR-I pulling ahead 20-19 at the intermission on a field goal by Andrew Mathes.

But the Tigers struggled to take care of the ball. The team missed Miller's presence at the point, committing two dozen turnovers on the night.

That opened the door for the Eagles to make the second half rally. A three pointer by Royce Poore put Knox County ahead 33-30 late in the third period, and Knox County never relinquished the lead.

The Eagles opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run that put the game out of reach. Andrew Mathes hit his first three pointer of the season but it was not enough as Knox County went on to the 46-35 victory.

Scotland County finished the season with a 11-14 record. Mathes led the Tigers in scoring with 13 points. Knox County (15-10) was led in scoring by Donovan Edwards with 16 points.

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