Knox Co. Eagles Hoist Brashear Trophy

By David Sharp

Knox County (14-7) scored ten points in a 29 second span of the 2008 Brashear Tournament boys’ championship game and repeated as tournament champions by a final score of 77-62 over Brashear.
The spirited game was closer than the final score indicated. KCHS senior Daniel McMahon raised the Eagles’ second varsity tournament championship since 1978.
Both tournament titles to date were won during Jesse Crawford’s tenure as Knox County varsity boys’ head coach.
Knox County jumped out to a six point lead. The Eagles led 17-11 after one period of play. The second quarter was a hotly contested see saw affair.
Trae Treasure sank a pair of Tiger free throws pulling Brashear (13-7) within a field goal at the 5:56 mark of period number two.
Zach Parrish nailed a three ball at the 5:34 mark of the second quarter lifting Knox County to a 22-17 lead. The Eagles extended the margin to nine points when Parrish got through a solid defensive set for a bucket. Knox County led 30-21 with 2:31 remaining until half time.
The teams traded put back baskets late in the second quarter. Knox County’s Lucus Hudson and Trae Treasure of Brashear took advantage of less than desirable box outs and scored. Treasure scored with 18 seconds to play in a well played first half for a 32-28 Knox County lead.
Brashear came out and cut the KCHS lead to 32-30. Some of the more spectacular basketball plays of the season followed in short order.
Zach Parrish drove the lane for a 37-30 Eagle lead with 5:57 showing on the third quarter clock. Cory Shultz thrilled the Knox County fans with a great looking driving two 20 seconds later for a 39-30 lead.
Cory Shultz was fouled on the play. Shultz missed the free throw but hustled for the rebound. Shultz found Daniel McMahon who buried a three pointer at the 5:29 mark. Just like that, Knox County held a 42-30 lead after an explosive ten point scoring spurt.
Brashear answered with a 10-4 run. Ryan Ferdig and Jacob Shipman canned Tiger
See EAGLES, Page 14
three balls. Matt Thomas stole the basketball and converted a pair of Tiger free throws for a 46-42 Knox County edge with 2:13 showing on the third quarter clock.
Dennis Dent extended the Eagle lead to 51-45 with just under a minute to play in the period. The conventional three point play answered a Trae Treasure basket. The teams went to the final eight minutes with the Eagles holding their six point advantage.
Brashear cut the lead to four points early in the fourth quarter. Cory Shultz gave Knox County a 58-50 lead at the 6:46 mark with a field goal.
Knox County took command with a key 12-1 run midway through the final period of play. Dennis Dent had a put back basket and Zach Parrish scored a tough inside field goal during the run.
Mitchel Penn converted two free throws after a hard nosed series at the 4:38 mark of the fourth quarter.
Daniel McMahon sank two KCHS free throws for a 70-51 Knox County lead with 3:39 showing on the fourth quarter clock. Trae Treasure sank a BHS three ball with 1:52 to play in the game trimming the edge to 71-58.
Knox County did a nice job of closing out the contest. Trae Treasure and Daniel McMahon exchanged pairs of free throws in the last 16 seconds for a 76-62 Knox County victory.
The Eagles improved to 14-7 on the season. Knox County has beaten their win total of 13 from last year. The Eagles have four more regular season games remaining. Knox County has a chance to challenge the 20 win mark for the first time in 20 years.
Brashear was a very good 15 of 18 from the free throw line with four made three pointers. Trae Treasure led the Tigers with 19 points. Jacob Shipman was in double figures with ten points. Kale Watson scored nine BHS points. Justin Hazen and Kiley Watson scored eight points each. Ryan Ferdig added five Brashear points.
The Tigers travel to Bucklin February 12 and host Novinger on February 15 for conference contests.
Knox County had four players score in double figures. "They are a well balanced ball club there is no question about it," said Brashear coach Sara Williams. "I thought we came out and did what we needed to do. We hung in with them."
"We just lost our composure in the fourth (quarter), said Coach Williams. "We let it get away from us. There are some little things that we can change. They are a little quicker than us. A lot of times it’s hard to cover that inside and outside zone. We did the best we could."
Knox County sank 23 of 34 free throws on the night. Daniel McMahon was the high point man with 22 Knox County points. Cory Shultz fired in 19 points with 15 coming in the second half.
"We knew they had some shooters, and we had to get out and guard the three," said Knox County senior Cory Shultz. "Our defense carried us. When we share the ball and play as a team we are pretty hard to beat."
Dennis Dent drove home 14 points against an improved Tiger interior defense. Zach Parrish tossed in 13 Knox County points, becoming the fourth Eagle to score in double figures.
"We knew it would be hard to play over here in this environment," commented KCHS senior guard Zach Parrish on the Eagles’ championship victory.  "Both teams have improved a lot. We won the tournament this year. This was our first tournament championship this year."
"They played tough defense all game through," said Parrish. "When you play defense like that, there are bound to be spots to get through. We all penetrated and dished to Dennis Dent. He had a heckuva game inside. Cory (Shultz) was on, Daniel (McMahon) was on and I was on. We were all clicking. It came out fine. We are coming together as a team."
Mitchel Penn was perfect from the free throw line and scored four Eagle points. Shane Clouse scored the first Knox County basket of the contest and finished with two points. Lucus Hudson came off the bench and added one point.
Knox County has two key conference games this week. The Eagles can finish 6-1 in the Tri-Rivers boys’ standings. Clark County handed Knox County their lone loss. Knox County travels to Schuyler County on February 12.
The Eagles host Putnam County on Friday, February 15 for their conference finale.
"Brashear is a good Class 1 ball club," said Knox County head coach Jesse Crawford. "I think they are going to give LaPlata all they want in their district. Our kids battled. Brashear is a tough place to play. They are hard to beat on their home floor."
"We switched defenses trying to confuse them. We did a good job of containing Kale Watson," said Coach Crawford. "He is one of the toughest guards in the area. I wish he wore a Knox (County) uniform. Our unselfishness led to a lot of easy baskets. It was a good victory."
"We scored 76 points. Our offense is really starting to click right now," said Crawford. "We got the second seed in our district today. Paris got the one seed. We played with a chip on our shoulder tonight. We are in control of our own destiny."
"Zach Parrish had a 102 degree temperature today. He got a lot of fluids in him. Luckily he was able to play," said Coach Crawford. "I couldn’t even tell you who led us in scoring. It was a good group effort. We got a lot of good minutes out of seven or eight guys."
"They do a great job here at Brashear," said Coach Crawford of the tournament organizers. "They have a great hospitality room. This is a good well rounded tournament. It feels good to get a victory in it. We want to win out and get ready for our district."