The Dawson Springs Panther fans came out in full force for Tuesday night’s home game against Trigg County and they got quite a show.
Early in the first quarter, senior Skyler Clark scored his 1,000th point as a Panther and play stopped to acknowledge the feat. At the Panthers-Wildcats last game, the other senior Braxton Cotton earned the honor and the Panthers won. Both times the boys faced former coach Chad Burgett, who returned to Panther Gym on Tuesday as opposing coach. Burgett coached the boys for two recent seasons before taking the job at Trigg.
The Panthers led most of the game, but the fourth quarter got a little dicey. But the end result was a victory for the Panthers, 68-57.
“It was pretty awesome,” Hicks said. He added that he’s proud of Clark for reaching 1,000 points and of the team overall. “They make me look good.”
Cotton had a good all-around night, Hicks said. He was strong in free throw shooting, scoring and rebounding. He also said junior Logan McKnight did a good job of shutting down one of Trigg’s toughest offenders.
“Their basketball IQ showed,” Hicks said. “Sometimes you just gotta let them play. That’s what we did. They showed their experience. They showed their toughness.”
Hicks said the large Panther crowd was “awesome” and added fuel to the fire.
Cotton scored 25 points and Clark added 19. Junior Landon Pace, who made a 3-pointer at the end of the first to solidy the early lead, had 12 points. Dylan Dawson netted 11 points. McKnight made a free throw.
With the win, the boys move to 12-14. Hicks said the 12 wins is tied for the second most wins the Panther boys have had in 22 years. The boys were 9-20 last year, 10-20 the year before and 17-16 in the 2016-17 season. In 2009-10, the team only won one game. The record was 11-17 in the 2005-06 season. In the 1998-99 season, the Panthers got 21 wins under Burgett. The prior season had 12 wins.
The Panthers won two games Saturday and Monday. They traveled to Frederick Fraize on Saturday and won 83-36.
“We have to play with that confidence every night,” Hicks said.
Clark tallied 25 and McKnight had a whopping 17 points. Pace added 14, while Dawson had 10. Other scorers were Cotton with 7, Jake Back with 5, Rett Nieters with 3 and Isaac Carter with 2.
On Monday, the Panthers defeated Community Christian Academy in Paducah, 90-61.
CCA had a solid night of offense, but its defense was no match for Dawson Springs.
“We didn’t play our best, but we got the job done,” Hicks said.
Scoring were Clark (23), Cotton (20), Dawson (17), Pace (13), McKnight (6), Nieters (4), Dilyn Skinner (3), Mathew Cunningham (2) and Addison Whalen (1).
The boys did tally a loss though when they went to Crittenden County on Friday. They lost 80-59 to the Rockets.
“We (were) asleep the entire first half,” Hicks said. “We got to learn to overcome things when people try and throw us a curve ball.”
Clark led in scoring with 18 points. Cotton had a double, double: 16 points, 14 rebounds. Pace netted 10 points, while Dawson added 9. McKnight had 4. Cunningham finished with 2.
The boys travel to Caldwell County tonight and host McLean on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Junior varsity action starts at 6. On Monday, the Panthers host Crittenden County. The regular season culminates with senior night on Friday, Feb. 21.