Hudson Hixson

Mike Hudson (left) and Spencer Hixson (right) battle for a rebound in a road game for the Knoxville Panthers against the Centerville Big Red. Knoxville came up big with a rally that produced an exciting 65-56 South Central Conference victory.

Knoxville keeps answering every challenge tossed their way.

Coach Jeff Larson’s Panthers knocked off the Centerville Big Red on the road Tuesday, Jan. 7, by the final of 65-56.

It moved the KHS mark to 8-1 overall, making it eight straight wins since a season opening loss to the PCM Mustangs.

It marked the third straight game where the Panthers started slow and had to put on their rally caps to pull off the victory.

Knoxville also improved to 5-0 in the South Central Conference with the win. Four of the league wins have been on the road.

Centerville led 21-18 at the close of the first quarter and 38-33 at halftime.

Knoxville started to take charge of the game with some more aggressive play in the second half. In the third quarter the Panthers out paced the Big Reds 19 to 11 to lead 52-49 entering the fourth.

KHS junior leader Kieren Nichols posted a double-double with 31 points and 10 assists. Nichols also had a team high seven rebounds in the game along with Spencer Hixson.

Freshman Luke Keitges was the only other Panther in double digits with 12. He also pulled in six rebounds for the team.

Ben Olson pumped in eight points, Hixson seven, Alex Eckert five and Keegan Cox had two.

Centerville (3-7/2-3) was paced by Matt McDonald with 24 points and Brady Kauzlarich with 17.

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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