KNOB NOSTER — In the first home game of the Dustin Fox era, the Knob Noster Panthers held El Dorado Springs to six points in the fourth quarter on the way to a 58-46 win.
The Panthers led46-40 heading into the final eight minutes and after the teams exchanged baskets on their first possessions of the fourth, the Panthers defense shut El Dorado Springs down, holding them to one basket midway through the quarter and another with a few seconds left.
“Part of it was the things that we talk about doing from a discipline standpoint we went away from in the first half and a little bit of the third quarter,” Fox said. “We got back to who we were on the defensive end (in the fourth), solid rotations, not getting split on the perimeter and showing up. We took a couple charges and we rebounded the ball.”
Knob Noster’s Chase Hagle and El Dorado Springs’ Shane Trowbridge exchanged 3-pointers to open the game and early in the first quarter it was tied 9-9 before the Panthers went on an 11-0 run. Trey Gant’s long jumper sparked the run and Lucas Rincker added a 3-pointer and a layup to make it 20-9.
The Bulldogs got a putback at the first-period buzzer to cut the lead to 20-11, then kept the run going early in the second quarter to get within two before the Panthers pushed ahead again, getting help from a goaltending call to take a 35-28 lead into the break.
The Panthers led by as many as 11 in the third quarter, a Tucker Judd basket in the paint making it 44-33, but El Drado Springs rallied and got a 3-pointer from Landon Smith late in the quarter to make it 46-40.
Knob Noster hit 12 of 16 free throws paced by Rincker going 9 of 12 from the line. He finished with 18 points. Hagle had 12 and Billy Michael added 10.
“I’m a true motion guy in every sense of the word,” Fox said. “I feel like the more guys that touch it on offense, the more they’re going to be selfless.”
Knob Noster pulled away early in the junior varsity game and won 61-43.
Knob Noster (2-4) will visit Richmond on Tuesday.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles