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Knights seek to rebound from tough loss to McBee

Posted: January 31, 2012 8:39 a.m.
Updated: February 1, 2012 5:00 a.m.

North Central nearly erased a 16-point fourth quarter deficit, only to come up three points shy of a huge comeback in a 69-67 loss to visiting McBee last Friday night in a Region 3-A boys’ basketball game played at The Castle.
The loss dropped the hosts to 1-5 in conference play. The Panthers improved to 2-4 in league action with each side having three games remaining in regular season action after Tuesday’s contests.
“We dug ourselves too big of a hole, obviously,” said NC head coach Chad Dixon. “We almost climbed out of it, though.”
The Knights trailed, 21-15 after the first quarter and 39-24 at halftime. The Panthers carried a seemingly comfortable 53-37 advantage into the fourth quarter, only to see the hosts score 30 points in the closing eight minutes with junior forward Jeremy Fowler accounting for 16 of those on his way to a career-best 31-point effort.
“We just pressed, pressed, pressed on defense and then, we pushed the ball up the floor on offense,” Dixon said of a wild fourth quarter. “Our kids battled to the wire.
“It was an awesome comeback by our kids and, it was almost an unbelievable one. We forced turnovers and scored quick points off them and gave ourselves a chance at the end.’
The Knights cut the lead to 69-67 and quickly fouled Rashad Reed, who missed both free throw attempts with 6.2 ticks left in the game clock. Without having a time out left, NC’s Brady Brister grabbed the rebound on the second miss, took one-dribble before attempting a desperation shot from three-quarters court, which was deflected by an MHS player.
Reed topped Fowler for game-high scoring honors as the Panthers’ junior guard had 34 points on the night.
After Fowler’s 31-point outburst sophomore center Kawan Hough added a dozen points for the Knights, who also received seven points from senior guard Justin Black.
NC fell into a tie for fifth place in Region 3. Dixon said there is a remote chance that his team could enter the playoffs with one win in their final four games, but said that was a very long shot which would involve bringing tie-breakers into place.
“We need to win two of our last four games to have a good chance to make the state playoffs,” he said. “It’s in the realm of possibility that we can still make the playoffs if we win one more game.
“We’ve just dug ourselves a hole to where we need to win some games and we’re going to need some help from other people.”
Demons fall to Silver Foxes: Earlier this season, Dutch Fork came into the Demons Den and handed Lugoff-Elgin a 102-69 loss.
Last Friday night in Ballentine, the Demons nearly pulled off the upset only to come up four points shy in a 68-65 loss to the host Silver Foxes.
The loss kept Derek Belton’s squad winless in their first nine starts in Region 4-4A competition.

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