WILLIAMSBURG — Tony Patterson’s Knox Central Panthers continue to show they’re one of, if not the best team in the 13th Region by scoring more than 90 points for the third consecutive game during Saturday’s 97-72 win over Williamsburg.
“This was a good win for us, and Williamsburg played a really good game,” Patterson said. “Williamsburg played as good as I’ve seen them play. I thought they really played well tonight. We were able to come out and eventually pull away in the second half.”
The Panthers, who ran their record to 23-4 with the win, have now won six games in a row, while averaging 84.1 points per game during the stretch.
Despite being down two starters, Nick Napier’s Yellow Jackets gave it their all, and managed to hold a one-point lead at halftime.
With both Caleb Rose and Devonte Powell out, Williamsburg (15-12) still managed to hang tough throughout the contest.
After pouring in 42 points against Jellico, Tennessee the night before, senior Slaht Hunter scored 21 of his game-high 35 points in the first quarter to give the Yellow Jackets a 32-26 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Panthers slashed their deficit to 44-43 at halftime before outscoring Williamsburg 54-28 during the second half.
“Well we played really well in the first half, and had a lead over a very talented team, but in the end we lost the war of attrition,” Napier said. “With Caleb and Devonte out today so we were down two starters. Then foul trouble and players fouling out kept us from being able to stay with them.
“Knox has a very talented team and is well-coached,” he added. “I was glad to see several players step up and play really well tonight. Slaht Hunter came out and played really well. I thought Dalton Ponder ran the team great too.”
Jason Bray finished with 11 points for the Yellow Jackets while Ponder added eight points.
Knox Central had five players score in double figures with Nick Martin’s game-high 33 points leading the way. Jaylen Adams scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half while Zac Patterson (12 points), Dane Imel (11 points) and Javionte Turner (10 points) followed.
Knox Central has a tough week of home contests ahead to finish out regular season play.
The Panthers will host Clay County Tuesday before seeing Knott County Central pay a visit Thursday and North Laurel coming to town Friday.
All three games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. starts.
“We’ve got a tough stretch of games coming up,” Patterson said. “We’ve got Clay County coming up and then Knott Central. We will also play North Laurel this week, and they’ve really been playing good basketball over the past month.
“We need to continue to play well, but the most important thing is We’ve got to remain healthy,” he added. “We want to go into the postseason playing well, and these games will test us.”
Williamsburg will host Barbourville Monday before playing host to Pineville Thursday and Leslie County Friday.