Knights win OT thriller

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County High School boys travelled to Campbellsville for a 20th district game Friday. In a game in which neither  team ever led by more than seven points, the teams ended regulation deadlocked, 50-50. In overtime, the Knights managed two more points than the Eagles to win 56-54 and improve to 8-8 on the season.
The opening quarter would set the tone for the entire game. Neither team led by more than two points, and a pair of free throws by Jalen Powell left the score tied 11 to end the quarter.
Latrelle Irvin scored the first five points in the second quarter to give the Knights their biggest lead to that point, 16-11. Campbellsville answered with a 11-2 run that spanned most of the quarter to regain a 22-18 lead. Irvin hit a late bucket with less than 30 seconds left in the half to leave the score 22-20 at the break.
Campbellsville put together a pair of runs in the third quarter and gained its biggest advantage of the game. A 6-0 and a 9-0 run allowed the Eagles to gain a 39-32 lead with 1:21 to go in the third quarter. Irvin and Alex Smith connected on back-to-back buckets late in the period to cut the deficit to 41-37 at the conclusion of the third quarter.
Alex Smith caught fire in the final frame. After nailing a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter, Smith nailed three more three-pointers over a five-minute span to give the Knights a 48-45 lead with 2:47 left in regulation.  The Eagles reeled off five straight points to take a 50-48 lead late before Irvin hit a bucket late to tie the game at 50. Over the final minute neither team was able to score, and the game headed into overtime.
In the four-minute overtime period, Vincent Collins scored the first two times for Marion County as the score went back and forth. With 11 seconds on the clock, Anton Cowherd found the bucket and gave the Knights a 56-54 lead. After a timeout by the Eagles with just over five seconds left, they had one more chance to tie or win the game. The final shot by Campbellsville was partially blocked by Irvin and Collins snagged the ball out of the air as the Knights secured the hard fought 56-54 overtime victory.
“It was just as we expected. A hard fought game,” Head Coach Montrelle Irvin said. “Any time you play a district game on the road, it’s a plus coming away with a win.”

Marion Co 11 9 17 13 6 – 56
C’ville          11 11 19 9 4 – 54
Marion County (8-8): Latrelle Irvin 15, Alex Smith 15, Vincent Collins 7, Clay Lanham 6, Anton Cowherd 6, Chase Lancaster 3, Luke Price 2, Jalen Powell 2
Campbellsville (6-12): Damontez Smith 11, Bradley Bates 10, Kendon Young 9, Austin Hash 9, Derek Caldwell 8, A.J. Vaught 7

Coach Irvin knows that his team is in the midst of a big stretch in the season.  Three consecutive district games will all but decide the No. 1 seed in the upcoming district tournament. The Knights defeated Campbellsville, hosted Adair County last night, and will travel to Taylor County on Friday night. Results from the Adair County and Taylor County games will be in next week’s issue.
Coach Irvin said his team is playing at a different level now than they were the last time they played the Indians.
“In the first showing they really handled us,” Irvin said. “I think we are a totally different team than when we played them the first time.”
On Dec. 4, the Knights fell to the Indians 54-40 in Columbia after scoring just six points in the first half.
“They have two players that can really put the ball in the hole,” Irvin said about Taylor County. “They are big and rebound very well. This week is going to be big on who possibly could get the first seed.”