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After an 11-17 record last year, the Marion County Knights are preparing to come back into a fresh season with their coach, Montrelle Irvin.
“We have big expectations,” Irvin said about the season.
Their expectations are high because they have a senior-loaded team.
According to Irvin, the Knights have eight seniors, most with experience under their belt. They are Anton Cowherd, Latrelle Irvin, Bobby Jaglowicz, Brandon Knopp, Clay Lanham, Anthony Mattingly, Jalen Powell, Luke Price, and Alex Smith.
But they are not the only experience the Knights have. Irvin said they also have a few juniors on their team who know their way around the court. They include Blake Clark, Chase Lancaster, Clay Rogers, and Anthony Tonge.
“All of them have experience for the most part,” Irvin said.
One of the challenges the team faces this year is his players’ height, but Irvin said that shorter players tend to run faster.
“We play at a faster, upbeat tempo,” Irvin said.
He thinks the Knights will play a pressure offense and defense against their opponents.
Irvin also said the Knights’ goal is to win the district and go to the regional tournament this year. In fact he said, he thinks have a good shot at making that goal a reality.
“It’s right there in front of our face,” Irvin said.
One of the teams to beat in the region will be the John Hardin Bulldogs, according to Irvin.
“They’re athletic. They’re fast. They can shoot,” he said. “They really don’t have a weakness.” Last year, the Knights fell to the Bulldogs 85-67.
The Bulldogs won the 5th Region championship last season and competed in lost PNC/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena, where they lost to the Scott County Cardinals.
According to the KHSAA website, the Knights first game is scheduled to take place on Dec. 2 on the road against the Casey County Rebels. The Rebels went 14-17 last season.
From there, the Knights will host the Bardstown Tigers on Dec. 3. The last time the teams met was in 2012, when the Tigers defeated the Knights in the second round of the 5th Region tournament, 63-60.
“It will be a tough game,” Irvin said in an email. “I think they are rated third in the region. Any time you play Bardstown you know what you’re up against.”