Katie Keitges

Katie Keitges

The Knoxville Panthers had little problem opening defense of their South Central Conference Championship. Knoxville beat the Clarke Indians on the road Tuesday, Dec. 10 in Osceola by the final of 62-21.

Knoxville held quarter leads of 21-7, 37-11 and 58-16 en route to the victory that put the team at 4-0 overall.

Maggie Wilkins was the KHS scoring leader with 26 points followed by Katie Keitges with 22.

Keitges became Knoxville’s all-time 5-on-5 scoring leader passing Sam Abens in the process.

Charlee Heffron added 4 oints, Emma Dunkin and Melanie Sullivan each hit for 3 points. Scoring was rounded out by Marley McKay and Larissa Wells with a bucket each for two.

The Panthers are a team noted for some outside shooting, but that was not the case Tuesday as they were 4-of-16 for 25 percent.

McKay led the Panthers with eight rebounds, followed by Keitges with seven.

Tara Uitermarkt was the assist leader with three. Keitges and Wilkins each had four steals in the contest.

Odds and Ends

The 22 points by Keitges put her career total at 1,333 points overall.

Knoxville Head Coach Jim Uitermarkt stated, “It was evident pretty early on in Katie’s freshman year that she was capable of setting some records at KHS. When she reached the 1,000 point mark in her junior year it was pretty clear that she would break the career mark early in her senior season.”

He continued, “Katie has gotten to this point through 1,000’s of hours of hard work on her own time to improve her individual game. She is a perfect example of what hard work on a year round basis can produce in terms of results. The last few years it has been exciting to watch her evolve into a complete all-around player.”

Uitermarkt added, “I have now had the pleasure of coaching the last two girls to break this record. Sam Abens was the one who previously held this record. She graduated in 2010. Sam reached out to Katie both before and after the game at Clarke to congratulate her, which was really neat.”

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

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