With the score tied at 50-50, Rushville’s XxZavien Jenkins hit a buzzer beater on Tuesday night to beat the Knightstown Panthers. The win snapped a three game skid for the Lions who improved to 4-12 on the season. Rushville will be back in action on the road in Aurora, taking on South Dearborn (10-6) this Friday in an EIAC matchup.
The Lions got off to a hot start with Jenkins starting the game the way he ended it, with a three-pointer. Kane Thompson hit from deep, and Jenkins hit the front end of a pair of free throws putting Rushville up 7-0. Knightstown got a free throw to land for their first point, stopping the Lions opening run. The Panthers then hit a three pointer to make it a five-point game at 9-4. The Lions finished the period with three more points from the charity stripe and the score was 12-6 after the first quarter. The Panthers took the lead midway through the second quarter after starting the frame on a 9-2 run. Kameron Morton go the Lions the lead back with a basket, but the next few possessions saw the lead change hands several times. With under two minutes to go Dylan Thompson scored for Rushville, K. Thompson put in a shot just with five seconds to go, and the Lions went into the locker room on top of Knightstown 20-17.
D. Thompson and Jenkins pushed the lead to eight to begin the third quarter, then a quartet of three’s from the Panthers put them back up 33-29. Rushville outscored the Panthers over the remainder of the frame 5-3 and went into the final quarter down by two with the score 34-36.
D. Thompson tied the game up with the first score in the fourth period, but the Panthers went on a 5-2 run. Jenkins tied the game at 41-41, the teams swapped baskets the next few trips down the court, and midway through the frame Knightstown led 46-44. D. Thompson collected an old fashioned three-point play to give the Lions the lead, but the Panthers got back-to-back field goals from their big man Jake Byers to go up by three, with two minutes remaining.
D. Thompson went back to the line after getting hacked while making a basket under the rim, and with less than one minute remaining, the game was tied at 50-50. A turnover by Knightstown got the Lions the ball back with 29 ticks left. Jenkins drove the lane, kicked it out to K. Thompson, and sprinted out to the corner where K. Thompson barely got the ball back to the sophomore, who caught it and got his shot off just before the buzzer. The ball went in for Jenkins, his fourth from deep on the night and Rushville won 53-50.
Jenkins led the Lions in scoring in the contest with 21-points, a career high for the first year Lion, and the highest by any Lion this year. Also scoring on the night was D. Thompson with 13, K. Thompson 9, Nick Jarman 6, Morton 4