Milan Boys Claim Road Win At Knox
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Milan took advantage of late game Knox County turnovers to get past a shorthanded Knox County boys’ team for a 44-41 December 10, 2021 win at Knox County. The Eagles lost projected starting guards Rylan Roberts and Keaton Strange due to knee injuries suffered in football.
Both Strange and Roberts are expected to miss the entire 2021- 22 basketball season. Guard Brandon Miller was unavailable due to injury.
Most of the contest was closely played. The Wildcats (4-2) handled the basketball more effectively and got their share of rebounds against an imposing Knox County front line.
Knox County (3-3) led by an 11-10 score after the first quarter. Milan took a 22-21 halftime lead. Ethan Campbell tossed in a KCHS three ball with 30 seconds to play in the half.
Kellen Parrish sank a big Knox County three ball with 4:26 to play in the third period. The Eagles led 35-33 after three quarters. The Eagles missed two free throws early in the fourth quarter. Kellen Parrish pulled down the rebound.
Knox County turned the ball over trailing by a point at the 5:23 mark of the fourth quarter. Ahmet Niasse scored for a 40-37 Milan lead with five minutes to play in the contest.
Tanner Gillaspy blocked a Milan shot late in the game. Gillaspy hit a free three pointer for a 42- 40 Wildcat lead with 52 seconds remaining. Gillaspy pulled Knox County within a point with a free throws at the 26.2 second mark of the final period.
Chekh Niasse made a Milan play when he followed a missed free throw for a critical Wildcat rebound with 17 seconds remaining. Checkh Niasse sank a free throws for a 43-41 lead.
Both sides turned the ball over in a hotly contested closing moments. Knox County had the ball with nine seconds to play but could not score. Milan had the possession arrow on a held ball in the final five seconds.
Jared Gonzalez sank a Wildcat free throw for a 44-41 lead with 2.9 seconds to play in the game. The Eagles had a chance for overtime with a three pointer. The Eagles could not get the shot off, preserving the 44-41 Milan win.
“We missed a ton of free throws,” Milan coach Andrea Dabney said. “We knew we had length with our guard play and could still handle the basketball. We have to keep that frantic pace.”
“We can’t get into a half-court game with kids that size,” Coach Dabney said of the Knox County front line. “I realize Knox County is a bit down missing some guards. I thought their guards played pretty well too.”
“Hats off to both teams. I thought both teams played pretty well tonight.”
Technical problems erased an Edina Sentinel interview with Knox County coach Nathan Miller. Milan made three of 12 free throws. Knox County was 6-12 from the line on the night.
Ahmet Niasse scored a game high 11 Milan points. Checkh Niasse scored nine Wildcat points. Jeremy Bennett and Jared Gonzalez scored six Milan points each. Nathan Keck put in five Milan points.
Jacob Becker scored ten Knox County points. Nelson Shinkle put in eight points. Tanner Gillaspy scored six Eagle points. Braydon Miller and Kellen Parrish put in four KC points each. Ethan Campbell and Collin Hayes added three points each.