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By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 2/19/21- “They’re a good team. They’ve been beating good teams. They’ve been winning most of their games. There’s a reason why that’s happening.” That was the post-game analysis from Scotland County Tigers (11-12) head coach Jeremy Austin regarding the Knox County Eagles (15-5) squad that had just soundly defeated his team.
“They played pretty good defense,” he added. “They made it pretty tough for us to be able to execute much that we wanted to offensively.”
Scotland County took the opening tip and led early in the game. With 1:55 to play in the first quarter, the Tigers led 9-6 when an Eagle rebound and put back followed by a three pointer gave Knox County their first lead at 11-9. A Connor Hayes buzzer beater for three extended the first quarter Eagle lead to 14-9. Knox County never looked back.
The second period saw Knox County outscore Scotland County 7-3 for a 21-12 halftime lead. The deficit was only nine points, but it felt much larger than that based on the momentum of the game. “They made us look pretty poor at times on the offensive end,” Austin explained.
The third quarter was déjà vu for Scotland County, as the Eagles again outscored them 16-12 to take the 37-24 lead. The fourth quarter again saw the Eagles outscore the Tigers 17-11 for the final score of 54-35.
“Defensively, I think we did a pretty solid job, especially in the second half,” Austin observed. “I thought our man defense looked good. We mostly stopped the things that were hurting us early. There at the end we had to make some adjustments to speed the game up as far as the press and stuff. That’s how games go from 15 points to 20 something real quick. That didn’t work out for us.”
Asked to diagnose what was ailing the offense, Austin answered, “We’ve just got to get a little bit better ball motion. If we get better ball motion, then we’re going to get better looks on the perimeter. If we get better looks out there, then that makes things easier yet for people scoring inside.”
Hayes led all scorers with 21 points. Braydon Miller had 10 points for the Eagles. Scotland County was led in scoring by Kabe Hamlin with 15 points. Carson Harrison scored 7 points, Owen Triplett 6 points, Corbyn Spurgeon 3 points, Hunter Holt 2 points and Trayton Buckallew 2 points.