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For the first time since 2000, the Knights won the 20th District crown Saturday at Taylor County High School.
They defeated the Taylor County Cardinals on their home court, 67 to 51.
Sophomore Latrelle Irvin led eight Knights in scoring with 18 points.
Irvin got the Knights going early with a pair of three-pointers within the first minute. Sophomore Alex Smith added one of his own just 30 seconds later to give Marion County a quick 9-0 lead. The Knights maintained the lead throughout the first period as Irvin scored the final five points for Marion County.
Irvin started the scoring for the Knights in the second frame as well with an early three-pointer. The Cardinals made a bit of a run over a two-minute span to cut the lead to 23-15 with 2:15 left in the first half. However, Taylor County was unable to score for the remainder of the half, and found themselves in a 31-15 halftime hole.
Taylor County would make a comeback midway through the third period. A 12-0 run by the Cardinals cut the lead to 35-32 with 2:35 remaining in the frame. The Knights would score the next six points and hold a 41-34 lead at the end of the third period.
Both teams battled back and forth throughout the final period. With the Knights up by 12 points with three minutes to go, Southall took over for the Knights. He scored the next seven points for Marion County to put the game away. A pair of late free throws by the Knights made the final margin of victory 16 points with a final score of 67-51.
"The only thing I really told them was to give me all you got for 32 minutes and let's make history," Head Coach Montrelle Irvin said.
Irvin said the Knights had been in this position before and fell just short to the Cardinals last year.
"We knew it was going to be tough," he said. "We still had a bad taste in our mouth from last year, so we had something to prove."
The Knights now turn their sights to the regional tournament at Central Hardin High School. Marion County will take on Green County tomorrow night at 8 p.m. "Green County is playing good ball," Irvin said. "Any team at this point is going to put up a dog fight."
If the Knights get past the Dragons in the opening round, they would have to take on the winner of the Bardstown and North Hardin game.
"Bardstown and North Hardin are the best two teams we played in the region," Irvin said. "In order to go to the state tournament, we knew we would have to face them some time in the tournament."
Irvin completed a task that all coaches would envy. He won the district tournament in his first year as the head coach.
"Winning the district in my first year has been a blessing," he said. "This season has been a great ride. My coaching staff has been amazing, and without them I don't know what I would have done. Marion County is back, and I don't plan on anything changing."
Marion County 18 13 10 16 - 67
Taylor County 10 5 19 17 - 51
Marion County (19-11): Latrelle Irvin 18, John Southall 16, Alex Smith 14, Clay Lanham 7, Carlos Litsey 6, Luke Price 3, Vincent Collins 2, Patrick Gribbins 1
Taylor County (16-13): Caleb Wiggington 18, Trae Wells 10, Lucas Bradshaw 8, Quentin Goodin 8, Spirit Smith 7
The Marion County Knights varsity basketball team took on the Campbellsville Eagles at Taylor County High School in the first round of the 20th District Tournament Tuesday of last week. After a slow start, the Knights pulled away from the Eagles and went on to a 63-43 victory to put them in the championship game of the tourney.
After a slow start in which the two teams combined for just 14 first quarter points, the Knights began to pull away and went on to win to advance to the finals. Senior John Southall led the way for the Knights with 13 points, followed closely by sophomore Bobby Jaglowicz who came off the bench to put in 12 points.
Southall scored seven of the nine points for the Knights in the opening frame, and opened up the second period with a three-pointer. The Eagles were held to just five points in each of the first two periods, while the Knights used a 13-2 run to close the half and hold a 31-10 lead.
Marion County maintained their offensive attack in the third period as they expanded their lead. A 9-2 run by the Knights late in the third period put the game out of reach as the Knights expanded their lead to 46-18.
Many of the reserve players saw some action for the Knights in the final frame. Only one of the 17 points in the final frame was scored by starters. The Knights went on to win the game by a final score of 63-43.
"Campbellsville was stalling the ball, which slowed the game down a lot," Irvin said. "We went into a half-court trap defense to speed up the game."
Irvin also noted that the Eagles had improved a lot since they last met.
"Coach Davis has done a great job with that bunch," he said.
Campbellsville 5 5 13 20 - 43
Marion County 9 22 15 17 - 63
Marion County (18-11): John Southall 13, Bobby Jaglowicz 12, Clay Lanham 9, Patrick Gribbins 7, Latrelle Irvin 6, Chase Lancaster 4, Carlos Litsey 4, Vincent Collins 3, Satchel Tatum 2, Anton Cowherd 2
Campbellsville (1-28): Damontez Smith 12, Mason Wethington 7, A.J. Vaught 6, Blake Clark 6, Trey Henry 5, Hayden Neal 3, Zack Durham 3, Auston Hash 1