HOWARD — The East Knox Bulldogs boys basketball team had a rough time getting warmed up in their home contest Tuesday against the Mansfield Christian Flames, falling in a 38-35 decision.

“We got wide open looks that we didn’t make,” East Knox head coach Ryan Powell said. “We kept settling for them rather than take the ball inside.”

The Bulldogs only scored 11 points in the first half as Mansfield Christian sat back in the zone, which is unusual for the Bulldogs and their great perimeter shooting.

In the first quarter of play, both teams got off to a similar start. Outside defense played a pivotal role, as a majority of the points came from inside the arc and at the stripe, aside from a 3-pointer swished by the Bulldogs’ Weston Melick, resulting in 7-5 Mansfield Christian advantage heading into the second frame.

Opening the second period, East Knox fell behind quickly as the Flames went on a 7-0 run within the first two minutes, highlighted by a three-point shot by Mansfield Christian’s Jared Mount, causing coach Powell to call a Bulldog timeout. Afterwards, East Knox generated a pair of threes through Melick to keep them in the game. The Flames found five more points before heading into the locker room up 19-11.

Coming out of the half, East Knox made necessary adjustments to be find gaps in the Flames’ zone scheme, finding Nathan Whitney for a bucket and pair of three’s. Andy Gillmore also supplied the Bulldogs with four in the paint. However, Mansfield Christian found their outlet in Ethan Barry, scoring all of the team’s seven in the quarter.

Foul trouble started to haunt the Bulldogs in the final period. Mansfield Christian was in the bonus starting toward the beginning of the fourth. This took the Flames to the line seven times, scoring four points. Mount was the influential scorer, driving into the paint and scoring an acrobatic old-fashion three-point play. This gave the Flames a 37-35 advantage with 13.1 seconds left to play.

East Knox started to work the middle to open up a three point shot, but received a technical foul attempting to recover a lose ball. Mount was sent to the line and made one. On the inbound, the Bulldogs fouled Mansfield Christian, but it missed both free throws. Melick recovered the rebound and a timeout was called with 1.6 ticks left on the clock. The Bulldogs’ attempt of a Hail Mary, however, failed, giving Mansfield Christian a 38-35 victory. Their first of the season.

Melick lead the Bulldogs’ in scoring with 13 points and eight rebounds, followed by Whitney and Anthony Gillmore, who had eight points apiece. Cody Cockrell and Shane Knepp combined for six points.

The East Knox Bulldogs now fall to 7-4 on the season, with a 4-2 mark in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference. They are scheduled to play at Danville Friday starting with a 6 p.m. JV tipoff.


Jack Fitzpatrick: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @




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