By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer

If someone ever wanted to get a monkey off their back, it was Knox Central’s Wendi Messer Tuesday night.

The Lady Panthers’ senior has accomplished a lot of things in her high school career, but until Tuesday’s 55-53 win over Corbin (10-5 overall, 2-1 in district play), she had never beaten the Lady Redhounds.

After the game, a happy yet composed Messer talked about the importance of the win for Knox Central (10-8, 3-0) and the gameplan coming into Tuesday’s showdown.

“We knew what we wanted to do and we felt like we knew what they were going to do,” Messer said. “They are Corbin and they kind of stick to the same thing and I really think we wanted it more tonight, but we knew we had to come out ready to play.

“The team did a good job of being focused and getting ready for this game,” she added. “This win means a lot to us because now we are 7-1 against 13th Region opponents and it gives us a lot of confidence as we head down the stretch.”

Despite her team not being at full force with senior Brittany Jackson on the bench with a minor ankle injury suffered in practice, Corbin coach Jennifer Parsons made no excuses for her young team and said Tuesday was a prime example of a team needing to step up.

“Brittany may have been able to play, but I didn’t want to take a chance before Friday night,” Parsons said. “Tonight, turnovers killed us and we were really helter-skelter on offense for much of the game.

“Offensively, we just couldn’t get anything going and they (Knox Central) played a good game and not just Messer, they played good as a team,” she added. “Hopefully, this will open their eyes and make them realize one person does not make a team and that they need to step up and make a difference when they have the opportunity.”

Messer paced the Lady Panthers with 14 points and Brittany Jordan scored 11 points as the only two Knox Central players in double figures.

Champlin and Kelci Jones each scored 14 points apiece, while Mikkah Rogers added 11 points for the Lady Redhounds.

After a back-and-forth first quarter affair that saw four lead changes and three ties, Knox Central held a 17-13 lead.

Both teams struggled offensively in the second quarter, but the Lady Panthers stretched their lead to six points by outscoring Corbin 14-12 in the period.

Corbin came out of the lockerroom with a vengeance, opening the half with a 13-2 run, taking a 38-33 lead until the Lady Panthers scored the last four points of the period to cut the lead to 38-37 with one quarter to play.

The Lady Redhounds extended their lead to 41-39 to open the fourth quarter, but consecutive baskets by Messer and Medina Jackson put Knox Central on top for good, 43-41.

After falling behind 51-45, Corbin cut Knox Central’s lead to 53-52 before the Lady Panthers pushed the lead to 55-52 on a pair of free throws by Terra Tuggle.

A free throw by Jones cut the lead to 55-53 as the Lady Redhounds fell to Knox Central for the first time in five years.Knox Central (55) - Messer 14, Jordan 11, Tuggle 8, Sizemore 7, Jackson 7, Sowders 4, Wilburn 4.

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