ASHBY — Taking on the 19-0 Ashby boys’ basketball team in the Section 6A playoffs seemed like a tall feat for the visiting West Central Area Knights. But a strong shooting night and even stronger defense, the Knights upset the No. 2 (Class A) Arrows 61-38 Saturday.

The matchup began as a tight, back and forth battle as the Arrows held a 21-20 lead. The Knights took control of the momentum and scored the final 11 points to take a 31-21 lead into the break.

In the second half, West Central Area opened up the scoring and increased their lead to 44-27. Ashby could not get back into the game as the Knight defense held them to 33% shooting (15-for-46) and allowed only one 3-pointer the entire game.

"What a defensive performance by our kids,” Knights head coach Kraig Hunter said. “All the credit goes to them. They did an amazing job taking away Ashby's strengths.  One of our game keys was defending their 3-point shooters. Ashby is a great 3-point shooting team and when they get going, they feed off that and get momentum.  I never thought we'd hold them to one.”  

The Knights were led in scoring by Grant Beuckens with 18 points, while teammate Ryder Staples was also in double figures with 12 points. 

 

Ashby was led in scoring by Jacob Cook with 20 points.

"I want to give recognition to Ashby senior Jaden Norby. Anyone that has competed against Jaden respects him. Myself and our team have all the respect in the world for him.  He is a tremendous athlete and leader but even a better person. He is humble and all class,” Hunter added.

The Arrows finish their season at 19-1. The Knights (15-4) will take on the Hancock Owls (15-5) for the subsection championship at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Hancock. The two teams split during the year.

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