For the first time all year the Knoxville Panthers have suffered back-to-back losses on the hardwood.

After falling to Albia Thursday, Jan. 30 at home by four points, the Panthers dropped a home game against the Centerville Big Red Jan. 31, 66-45.

With the exception of Kieren Nichols, points were tough to come by for the Panthers.

Centerville outraced the Panthers for a huge 24-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Knoxville closed in to 33-21 at halftime.

Centerville again gained traction on the game outscoring the Panthers 17 to 11 in the third quarter to carry a lead of 50-32 into the fourth.

Nichols had 22 points for Knoxville. Next in line was Luke Keitges with six points. Three other Panthers had four points each, Ben Olson, Spencer Hixson and Cael Peterson.

Rounding out the KHS scoring were Mike Hudson with two points and Drew Robinson with three.

Centerville had a balanced scoring attack with four players hitting double digits. The team leader was Brady Kauzlarich with 21. Seniors Quentin Koestner, Trent McCann and Matt McDonald added, 13, 12 and 11 points respectively.

Not only did Centerville shoot the ball better, but they dominated on the boards pulling in 43 rebounds to only 24 for Knoxville.

Merick Mathews had 15 rebounds for Centerville. Knoxville’s board leader was Keitges with eight.

Cael Peterson led the Panthers with three assists.

Odds and Ends

The defeat put the Panthers one game behind Albia in the league standings with two to play.

Knoxville slipped to 11-5 overall and 8-2 in the league with the setback.

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

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