KNOXVILLE — Clarke entered this game with thoughts of ending a long losing streak against Knoxville. The Panthers owned a 14-0 record against the Indians since 2006 but it was Knoxville who found themselves trailing at the half before coming back to win 52-40.
Knoxville was moving the ball around well from the jump as Maggie Wilkins saw a pair of threes go through the net while Emma Dunkin knocked down a couple of jumpers leading the Panthers to a 14-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Clarke would take control in the second quarter as Wilkins picked up her second foul and Knoxville head coach Jim Uitermarkt was assessed a tech. The Indians dominated the paint to outscore the Panthers 16-6 in the quarter and take a 24-20 halftime lead.
Just as they have in their first three games, Knoxville did not get discouraged as they would find a way to right the ship in the second half.
It started on the defensive end, where Knoxville turned up their pressure to force turnovers and tough shots.
They then turned those stops into scores on the other end with Wilkins scoring a quick six before a Dunkin floater gave the lead back to Knoxville at 31-20 with 2:41 left in the third.
Knoxville finished the quarter on a 7-1 run to go up 38-30 heading into the fourth.
It was closing time for the Panthers and they followed behind their all-state guard. Wilkins get back to back steals and layups early in the fourth and she was off, scoring all 14 of her team’s points in the quarter to close out the win.
Wilkins picked up her third straight 30-point effort, finishing with 31 points on the night while Dunkin had a solid all-around game herself with 12 points.
Knoxville (4-0, 1-0 SCC) will look to stay undefeated when they battle Chariton (1-2, 0-2 SCC) on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
*Knoxville stats were not available at time of print