Tigers Fall in District Quarterfinals
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By: Corey Stott
QUEEN CITY, Mo.- 2/20/23- Coach Jeremy Austin’s Scotland County Tigers ended the regular season with a 5-19 mark and went 3-5 in Lewis and Conference play. But you had to look beyond the season record to truly see what this Tiger basketball team had become down the stretch. This was a team that had been showing some real progress against tough opponents in the past few weeks and was playing arguably their best ball of the season when it mattered most.
Coming off a tough 51-46 loss at Milan to end the regular season, the Tigers looked to ride the momentum of improvement into the quarterfinal round of the Class 2, District 6 basketball tournament hosted by Schuyler County High School. The sixth-seeded Tigers were facing the third-seeded Knox County Eagles on a Monday night.
The game was a fast-tempo, high-energy affair early on, but neither team could get the lid off the basket in the opening couple of minutes. Knox County’s Rylan Roberts finally got the Eagles on the board first with a pair of points at the 5:55 mark. The Eagles followed Roberts’ lead and went on a 6-0 run to open the period. The first Tiger bucket didn’t come until the 3:41 mark when Marcus Smith hit a shot in the paint.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, that would be their only bucket until the 5:45 mark of the second quarter. Knox County would go on an 11-0 run in the meantime. They led 13-2 at the end of the first period.
The Kallen Hamlin free throw at the aforementioned 5:45 mark would provide the next score for Scotland County and began a 10-0 run. At the end of that run, the Tigers were within five, trailing 17-12 with :33 remaining in the half. Kellen Parrish hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give Knox County the 20-12 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Blake Parrish hit a 3-pointer at the 4:24 mark to start what would become a 10-0 run for the Eagles over the next two and a half minutes. They led 40-18 at the end of that stretch. A Layne Stott 3-pointer ended the Tiger scoring drought. The Tigers would respond with a 7-0 run over the last minute and a half of the period to draw back within five. The Eagles led 43-28 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter became a free throw shooting contest for the Eagles as they shot 23 times from the charity stipe in the period. Knox County went on to a comfortable 59-40 win to advance to the district semi-final game against the second-seeded Schuyler County Rams.
Roberts led all scorers with 20 points for the Eagles. Blake Parrish had 12 and Kellen Parrish had 11 points.
Scotland County was led by sophomore Marcus Smith with 14 points. Vince Dale added eight points, Stott six, Corbin Blessing five, Hamlin four and Tayte Richmond three.
The Tigers end their season at 5-20 overall. They will lose seniors Lucas Durflinger and Owen Triplett to graduation at the end of the school year. Coach Austin said after the game that he was very proud of his entire team, but especially his seniors. He added that it was hard having Triplett have to watch from the sidelines, unable to compete, due to an injury suffered the