The Eminence Warriors will play at least their next two games without senior Daishon Moore, who was ejected from the team’s Saturday night game at Carroll County.
The Warriors were off to a hot start against the Panthers, hitting their first six shots, taking a 14-0 lead.
But a scuffle broke out between Moore and Carroll County’s Dakota Corbin, resulting in the ejection of both players with 1:06 remaining in the opening period. Both players threw punches, and the ejection by referees means an automatic two-game suspension for each of them.
The Panthers caught fire after the scuffle, scoring the final 9 points of the period, and then outscored the Warriors 28-14 in the second period, taking a 37-28 lead into halftime.
“For whatever reason the game really changed after the scuffle,” head coach Chris Nethery said. “It changed the way the game was being called and played. It definitely fired them up and distracted us.
“We got some momentum back in the third period. Brandon scored two baskets in a row but then picked up two touch fouls and that really hurt us.”
The Warriors won the quarter 17-12, cutting the margin to 49-45 going into the final period of play.
But the Panthers dominated play in the final period, 16-8, to take a 12-point district victory.
Junior Jalen Dixie followed up an impressive showing against Owen County with another good game against the Panthers.
“Jalen had another good game and ended with 28 points,” Nethery said. “He was key in keeping us in the game.”
Dixie was 9-of-16 from the field and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc with four assists, two steals and two rebounds.
The loss dropped the Warriors to 2-5 in district play while Carroll improved to 3-4. The two teams square off in the final district seeding game of the season at Eminence on Feb. 4.
The game will determine who will be the fourth seed and play Henry County in the opening round of the district tournament. If Eminence wins they will be tied with Carroll and a coin toss will decide the teams’ fates. If the Warriors lose they will take on Henry County in the district opener.
Owen County 55,
Four days after they’d fallen to the Owen County Rebels in the All A Classic, the Warriors travelled to Owenton to take on the district rivals for a third time.
The Warriors fell behind 19-2 before staging a rally in which they tied the score in the second quarter.
Eminence found themselves down 3 with just under a minute in the half, but the Rebels reeled off the last 5 points of the period to take a 28-20 lead at halftime.
“Our kids got frustrated with the way the game was going and we called two or three timeouts and told them to try to weather the storm,” Nethery said. “We made some adjustments on offense with how we were setting screens and that allowed us to get better shots. Jalen Dixie got a steal and layup and hit a couple of three’s to get us going and we came back and tied it.”
But the late run at the end of the period hurt the Warriors as they found it hard to come back a second time. They cut it to 4 points twice in the third period.
In the fourth quarter the Warriors took the lead at 44-42. The Warriors had an opportunity to go up by 4 points but missed and Owen County came down and hit a bucket to tie it.
From there Owen took control of the game and stretched it out to 7 points by the end.
Nethery was pleased with Dixie’s play. “Jalen had really good game,” he said. “He was 5-of-12 on three-pointers and shot the ball extremely well. He did a great job passing the ball. It was really a good all-around game for him.”
Nethery also praised the play of DeMarcus Bailey. “Bailey had big minutes,” he said. “He had nine rebounds and 6 points in limited action.”