Panthers bounce back in OT to defeat Hornets

December 15, 2021 | 12:05 am

Updated December 15, 2021 | 12:03 am

Photo by Gage Johnson

Able to break through a 1-3-1 zone that had given them fits late in the fourth quarter, Daviess County was able to break its offensive spell and grab a 64-58 overtime win over Hancock County in front of its home crowd.

The Panthers got off to a hot start on Tuesday night, jumping out of the gates on a 9-0 run within the first three minutes of play.

Using a little three-point shooting, the Hornets were able to halt the run and cut their deficit to 13-11 going into the second quarter.

In the second quarter Hancock County tried to use its size advantage to make up some ground, trading buckets back and forth with Daviess County. Despite the Hornets outscoring them and nearly taking the lead at the buzzer, the Panthers went into the second half owning a 25-24 lead.

It remained a tight ballgame in the third quarter, with Hancock County trying to throw some new defensive schemes at Daviess County to gain an edge.

A 2-3 zone didn’t faze the Panthers, going on a 7-1 run to close out the quarter and take a 42-37 lead into the fourth.

After Daviess County extended its lead to 47-37 with 5:31 left to play in the fourth, the Hornets threw one more wrench into their plans to try and make a comeback following a 6-0 run.

Hancock County had used a 1-3-1 zone to trap and speed up the decision-making of the Panthers, doing so well.

Up 47-44, Daviess County had a chance to put the game away as junior Cole Burch made a layup and was fouled. Burch missed the free throw, but senior Devante McCampbell grabbed the rebound and he was fouled.

He missed the front end of the one-and-one, which led to a layup on the other end for Hancock County to make it a 49-46 game.

Hancock County completed the comeback a possession later, as they drilled a three to tie things at 49-49. The Panthers were unable to get a clean look after a timeout, as a layup was blocked for before a three was blocked on an under-the-basket out of bounds play as the buzzer sounded.

The 1-3-1 zone trapping from the Hornets was the achilles heel for Daviess County in the forth, as Head Coach Neil Hayden said that it threw them for a loop having not seen it all game.

“We hadn’t seen it,” Hayden said. “I thought Mike did a good job of switching something to get some traps and get some extra possessions and he did. I thought we took some early shots and had some turnovers on it.”

However, the Panthers flipped a switch in OT, finding the weakness in the zone on the backside and getting easy buckets to take a 57-53 lead with 1:45 left to play.

“We just settled in,” Hayden said. “I told them in here that they looked confident and they looked calm. We’ve got some guys that haven’t experienced this before and haven’t played minutes like that, and we just needed to kind of take a deep breath and I thought they responded well.”

The Hornets did their best to force another overtime period late, but 6-6 free throw shooting after previously going 3-7 as a team prior led to a 64-58 win for Daviess County.

Burch led the way for the Panthers with 16 points, while Moss followed right behind with 13 points while orchestrating the offense all night long.

“Cole’s gotta lead us offensively,” Hayden said. “And when Jonathan can keep moving us and keep that ball moving I think it will open things up for everyone else.”

While senior Max Dees only finished the game with four points, his high motor on both ends of the floor also played a huge factor in the Panthers win.

“He’s got such a spark,” Hayden said. “So when he can go downhill it gives us a boost. He’s just a ton of energy for us.”

While Hancock County didn’t shoot an incredible percentage from deep, they were able to hit threes when it mattered. Hayden tipped his cap to the Hornets in those regards, while also saying Daviess County has some work to do on perimeter defending as well.

“They picked and popped so they were really doing a good job of driving their guard deep…” Hayden said. “They ran some good stuff and we’ve gotta get a better understanding of our coverage.”

Hoping to take this game as a learning experience for a group that hasn’t had a ton of playing time together, the Panthers will look to make it two wins in a row when they take on Owensboro Catholic at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

“Tim is a really good coach and they’re disciplined,” Hayden said. “They’re going to try and run their stuff and they’re always really sound defensively. We’ve had some really good games with them, but we gotta get through and get a w in the district.”

December 15, 2021 | 12:05 am

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