Newton — Knoxville girls' varsity basketball coach Jim Uitermarkt was without two of his nine rotating players at tipoff of Friday night's game against Newton due to injuries. Unfortunately, the Panthers were unable to overcome this obstacle and lost their second game of the season, 60-47.
Sierra Kendall was out due to a surgery and Carrie Chambers suffered an injury during the junior varsity game. This didn't seem to bother the rest of the team, as the Panthers jumped out to a lead early in the quarter, but failed to maintain it. The Cardinals were ahead 13-7 after the first quarter.
Knoxville tied the game at 17 early in the second quarter on a free throw by Junior Taylor Carter. The Panthers' toughness took center stage in the second quarter, as the team was able to outscore Newton 15-9. Junior Meredith Cunningham was able to hit a shot at the buzzer to put the score at 23-22 in favor of Newton at the break.
The Panthers kept up the pressure on the Cardinals and held Newton to only three points through the first three minutes. Newton struggled to find the bucket throughout much of the quarter to give the Panthers a 31-25 lead. Newton eventually found its mark and brought the score within three. Knoxville was up 36-33 as the final period began.
Defensive struggles began to hit the Panthers and Newton was able to get a lead of 42-38. The Panthers' shooting went cold, and they lost the game 60-47.
Uitermarkt added that the second quarter went well for the team.
Hunt ended the game with six points. Cunningham was the lead scorer with 14, followed by Carter with 10, Emily Wallace with seven, Ashley Hawkshead with six and Ricki Hail with four.
"Hopefully Christmas break will give us a chance to get healthy and injuries healed so we can have a strong second half," Uitermarkt said. "We are 5-2 which is not too bad, but we also understand that we could easily be 7-0 at this point."
The Panthers are scheduled to travel to Norwalk for a boys' and girls' double-header on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. That Friday night, Jan. 10, Knoxville boys and girls will play host to Pella.