Who: Knoxville (13-7) vs Newton (8-12)
What: Class 3A - Substate 6 - Quarterfinal
When: Monday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
Newton holds a 16-6 series lead since 2006. Knoxville had won the previous two until their meeting in January, which the Cardinals won 71-69 on a last second shot in overtime from Jake Ingle.
By the numbers
Knoxville is 7-3 in their last 10 games while Newton is 4-6. Neither team makes many mistakes on offense as they both average under 13 turnovers per game. They also combined to shoot 40-for-50 (80%) from the free throw line in the first meeting. Knoxville is 4-3 in games decided by single digits while Newton is 5-5 in those games.
One key player for Knoxville
You don’t have to look too far to see the impact Kieren Nichols has on both sides of the ball for the Panthers. He leads the team in steals at 1.6 per game is equally a big threat offensively. He averages 19.6 points per game but will also share the ball with 4.4 assists per game. He creates a lot of offensive opportunities for Knoxville from at the rim, to at the line, to beyond the arc. Expect him to leave his stamp on this game and make big plays down the stretch if this one is close again.
Keys for Knoxville
Newton’s Jake Ingle had a career night against Knoxville, scoring 29 points on 9-of-16 shooting including the game winner. He will have the attention of Knoxville this time around and it would be big for the Panthers to take the head off the snake per say. The difference may be who makes enough plays or free throws down the stretch. Expect a lot of energy in this one as both teams have players that can lead big runs for their teams. A spot in the substate semifinals is one the line.