It was separation Friday as the Knoxville Panthers took it to the Clarke Indians in league play in Osceola.

Knoxville entered the varsity girls contest leading the South Central Conference while the Indians were in second place.

The Panthers were at the top of their game at both ends of the court.

The black and gold raced out to a 23-5 advantage at the end of the first quarter and put the lead at 36-7 at halftime.

Knoxville’s season long offensive leaders had big nights and the rest of the squad showed some offensive balance.

Katie Keitges led the way with 20 points, eight rebounds and five steals, all team highs for the night.

Maggie Wilkins had 18 points, sinking 7-of-8 from the floor and had four assists.

Next came Tara Uitermarkt and Alex Griggs with six points each followed by Marley McKay with five, Kelsey Ryan and Molly Devin both added four points.

Clarke’s leader was Megan Linskens with 14 points and Tori White with seven.

Knoxville hit slightly over 50 percent from the floor while the Indians were 13-of-39 for 33 percent.

At the foul line, the Panthers sank 9-of-13 shots while the Indians were as cold as the weather, connecting on just 3-of-17.

Odds and Ends

Knoxville improved to 11-2 overall and 8-0 in the league with the victory.

Clarke fell to 7-7 and 5-3 in the SCC.

Knoxville leads the SCC by three games with four to play. A sweep this weekend with a pair of home games would give Knoxville the league title.

Friday the Panthers are home to face the Davis County Mustangs at 6:15 p.m. It is Knoxville High School Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Night.

Saturday will be the annual Coaches vs. Cancer event with the Panthers hosting the Chariton Chargers at 6:15 p.m.

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