Elizabethtown grabbed their sixth district win in a row Saturday when they handed Fort Knox a 74-40 defeat.
The last district loss for the Panthers came on Dec. 9 when Central Hardin beat them 70-66.
Despite winning by a margin of 34 points, Elizabethtown continued their struggles from behind the arc, only making two threes for the entire game.
“We work on our shooting all the time, and it’s really a hit or miss thing,” Elizabethtown head coach James Haire said. “We aren’t a good three-point shooting team, they may think we are, but we aren’t.”
Where the Panthers really excelled on the afternoon was on the defensive end, oftentimes forcing the Eagles into turnovers and creating offensive chances off the Fort Knox mistakes.
“The turnovers are killing us,” Fort Knox head coach Kip Rambo said. “Everything E’town had in terms of scoring in the first quarter was off our turnovers or in transition.”
Fort Knox lost 30 turnovers in total, 16 more than Elizabethtown had.
Turnovers aside, Rambo was happy with his team’s effort on the defensive side of the ball, especially within the new system the Eagles were playing in.
“Our defense is something we’ve recently been doing differently,” Rambo said. “It’s a new defense for us, and it’s definitely better than what we had before.”
The Eagles are allowing their opponents to score 68 points per game this season, and have allowed 67 points against in the month of January.
Both Haire and Rambo dug deep from their bench, with each playing just about every player they had available.
Rambo used the depth of his bench in order to send a message to his players.
“I wanted to send a message to my team today that those turnovers were unacceptable,” Rambo said. “I played everyone in the first quarter. When someone turned it over, they came out. They have to understand the value of the ball. Once we start doing that, we’ll begin to play better.”
On the other hand, Haire used his team’s depth in order to give his players what he felt they all deserved.
“It’s always good when all the players get a chance to play because all players deserve playing time,” Haire said. “Sometimes it’s disappointing when I can’t deliver on playing time for everyone, so it was good to see everyone play today.”
The Panthers had 11 different scorers on the afternoon, and were led by usual suspects in senior Obian Howard, junior Ayden Evans, and sophomore JQuan Williams, with the trio dropping 10 points each.
Other scorers included junior Trey Durbin with 9, seniors Wyatt McAdams and Tyler Todd both posting 8, and senior Jujuan Williams putting up 5. Junior Carter Moberly and sophomore Reed Sherrard each chipped in with 4 points apiece as well as junior Alex Evans and sophomore TaQuan Townsend both providing 2 points.
As for the Eagles, they had six separate scorers, but had the game’s leading point-getter in senior Maurice Bonner.
Bonner put up 12 points in the afternoon, followed by senior Allston Leggette and sophomore Arreon McNulty who each contributed 9 points each. Sophomores Shemar Ward and Marcus Delain both threw up 4 points and senior Orlando Silva-Warren chimed in with 2 points.
Both teams will have their final district games in their next matchup.
Fort Knox (5-12, 1-5) will host Central Hardin (13-11, 4-3) at 8 p.m. Tuesday in an effort to close out their district regular season on a high note.
The Eagles lost in their previous game with the Bruins, falling 77-41 on Jan. 20.
Fort Knox have not had a win against Central Hardin since 2004, when they beat the Bruins 61-59.
Elizabethtown (13-7, 5-1) will try to continue their winning ways in district competitions when they face off against John Hardin (2-20, 1-5) at 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers were victorious in their last meeting with the Bulldogs, winning 72-47 on Dec. 16. John Hardin last beat Elizabethtown in last year’s district tournament championship.
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