BICKNELL — North Knox allowed Northeast Dubois to chip away at a 16-point first-half deficit, but the Warriors, despite missing too many free throws down the stretch, managed to hold off the Jeeps, 57-55, for a Blue Chip Conference win Thursday.
North Knox (9-10, 3-3 BCC) put three in double figures with Isaiah Collins scoring 15, Holtman Doades 13, and Brayden Thorne 11. Reece Hammelman nearly joined them win nine points.
The Warriors lead was as big as 32-16 in the second quarter, and it was 33-18 at halftime. The Class A honorable mention Jeeps (11-7, 3-3) cut into the gap with a 18-7 third quarter and pulled even at 48.
But Dubois never led in the second half. Doades scored four in a 6-2 jab to make it 54-50, and Thorne all but sealed it with a reverse layup with :14 showing to make it, 57-52.
The Jeeps canned a trifecta on the other end with five seconds left and fouled Hammelman on the inbounds pass. He missed both free throws, as North Knox made just one in its last six, but Dubois’ 35-footer at the buzzer was off the mark.
The Jeeps were led by Ty Riecker and Nick Lueken with 15 points, and Reece Bauer scored 10.
“It was a crazy one. A big part of this was our first-half defense,” North Knox coach Daniel Crabtree said. “Bauer is their all-time leading scorer, and we usually like to put Rhett Sheren on their best player. He did a great job. For Bauer to only score 10, that was huge.
“We had a great start, but we knew they’d make a run, and they did. They threw everything at us. We probably saw six or seven defenses. They tied it a couple times, but we made enough plays. This is a signature win for us. It wasn’t easy, but maybe it’s not supposed to be while we’re in the first year of this process. It’s not been easy, but we’re figuring out ways to come up with wins.”
Doades sat a good chunk of the first half with two fouls, but Collins stepped up to shoulder the offensive load. The teams swapped leads five times in the first quarter before Collins’ 3-pointer accounted for the sixth change and gave the Warriors a 10-8 edge. North Knox took the margin to 15-8 before a late Jeeps free throw made it 15-9 after one.
Reece Bauer scored to open the second and bring Dubois within four, but Collins tallied eight and Ian Kixmiller four in a 12-2 run to take the Warriors lead to 27-13.
The Jeeps began the second half with an 8-2 jab to get within 35-26. North Knox scored the next four, but Dubois strung together a 10-1 finish of the period to trail just 40-36 after three.
North Knox’s junior varsity snagged a win, 39-29. Gavan Carpenter and Brody Wolfe each scored 11 points to lead the Warriors (5-11).
North Knox entertains North Daviess at 6 p.m. Feb. 14.