The Dawson Springs High School boys basketball team’s season has come to an end.
No. 3 Madisonville-North Hopkins started its hopeful journey back to Lexington with an 81-55 win over Dawson Springs in the opening round of the 7th District Tournament at Maroon Gym on Tuesday night. K’suan Casey led the charge, racking up a career-high 34 points as North advanced to the 7th District Championship and reserved their spot in the 2nd Region Tournament to be held next week in Hopkinsville.
North opened up a commanding 24-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Maroons went into the locker room with a 38-15 lead, with Casey scoring 15 of North’s points in the first half.
Dawson Springs got back to within 20 of the lead to make it 48-28 North with four minutes remaining in the third. By the time the clock hit zeros in the third, the Maroons extended their lead to 61-34.
With North up 75-43 and about four minutes remaining, North Coach Matt Beshear put in the reserves as North cruised to the victory.
Along with Casey’s 34 points, Kenny White had 14 and Deljuan Johnson recorded 11 points. For Dawson Springs, Landon Pace had 18 points, Braxton Cotton had 11 and Skyler Clark was held to nine points. Clark was named to the All-2nd Region Team.
The Panthers completed the sweep over Todd County Central with a 78-70 win over the Rebels in Friday’s nightcap. The Panthers finished the regular season with a 13-17 record.
Friday night’s contest was also the last home game for Clark and Cotton.
“I’m proud of Braxton and Sky,” Head Coach Jim Hicks said. “It should be a (memorable) senior year for them.”
Dawson Springs set the tone early, going up 31-17 through the first eight minutes of action.
The Rebels started to get back into the game cutting Dawson’s lead to 39-31 with three minutes until halftime. With about 2:30 until half, Clark was fouled under the Panther basket, but the Todd County Central coach and fans wanted a charge foul called against Clark. Much to the dismay to everyone wearing red and white, Clark drained both free throws as he made it 43-32 Dawson.
By the end of the first half, the Panthers still had the lead, 47-35. As a team, the Panthers made 91% of their free throws going 11 for 12 from the line in the first half.
The Rebels started the second half with a 15-2 run to make it 50-49 Todd County Central with under four minutes to go in the third.
Dawson Springs regained their composure and Logan McKnight added some flair at the end of third with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 62-56 Dawson Springs.
In the first four minutes of the fourth, Dawson got on a 8-5 run to make it 70-61 Panthers. During that stretch, Clark committed his fourth personal foul of the ballgame.
With less than a minute left, the Rebels cut the Panther lead to 74-70. Landon Pace was able to hit a couple for free throws to extend Dawson’s lead to 76-70 and under 30 seconds to play. Pace then put in a little 2-point floater, but not before Dylan Dawson fouled out of the game.
Dawson led the team in points with 28, Pace ended his night with 19, Clark had 15 and Cotton and McKnight each had eight points in the win. The Panthers went 17 for 19 from the free throw line. Dawson pulled down 15 rebounds, while Cotton had 10 for the night.
“Dylan Dawson was a beast,” Hicks said. “Braxton played such an unselfish game with amazing passes. Landon was Landon, doing a lot of everything, and McKnight did a good job on offense.”
The Panthers finish the season with 13 wins and 18 losses.
The 13 wins puts the record at the second-most wins since the 1998-99 season, said Hicks, who wrapped up his first season as head coach. That, paired with a few players not returning from last season, made a season with 13 wins “a good year,” he added.
“We didn’t get all the goals we set out to accomplish, but I will always set high standards,” Hicks said. “I’m proud of the seniors and, in my opinion, our fan support for such a small school was awesome and I thank them for that.”