It was an exciting week of sports for Dawson Springs high school even though they didn’t pick up any wins as the Lady Panthers lost to 7th District rival Hopkins County Central 66-27 on Thursday and the Panthers finally started their season with losses to Tirgg County 96-73 on Saturday, Russellville 80-77 on Monday and Union County 77-68 on Tuesday.

Girls BasketballHopkins County Central 66, Dawson Springs 27

In the Lady Panthers’ game on Thursday, Dawson welcomed back one of their own as former Panther and first year Central head coach Phillip Cotton returned to the Dawson Springs gym. He led the Panthers to a 7th District Championship in the late 90’s.

“It felt good to be back in Dawson,” Cotton said. “I told my coaches beforehand that I’ve spent a lot of time in this gym. Brings back memories and it’s always good to come home.”

Meanwhile for the Lady Panthers, they continued their offensive struggles on Thursday night.

“It really comes down to the execution of the offense,” Dawson head coach Amanda Scott said. “When to shoot, when not to shoot, when to attack. We’re young, and I have inexperienced guards, and they haven’t figured it out yet. But once we play some more games and they figure it out, then we’ll knock down some more shots.”

Abby Ward led the offense for the Lady Panthers as she recorded 13 points while Natalee Oldham and Gracie Harper combined for 10 points with five a piece.

After the Central game, the Lady Storm had to quarantine earlier this week after a positive COVID-19 test within the program. This came after the Lady Storm played Madisonville on Saturday causing the Lady Maroons to quarantine and the Lady Panthers to shut down for two weeks since the positive test came back 48 hours after Central played at Dawson Springs. The Lady Panthers will come out of quarantine on Feb. 5.

Boys BasketballTrigg County 96, Dawson Springs 73

After a 14-day quarantine, the Panthers finally started their 2020-21 season on Saturday with a loss to Trigg.

“We’ve been dealt a very hard hand to start the season,” Dawson head coach Jim Hicks said. “But I couldn’t be more proud of the kids despite the loss. We played hard, but we’re not in shape. We’ve had three practices since we came out of quarantine, and we were missing some of our guys. We were playing eighth-graders in spots, but no complaints about (Saturday).”

Despite the loss, senior Landon Pace was already in mid-season form scoring a team-leading 40 points in the defeat.

“I did not expect to start the season like that,” Pace said. “It all comes down to my teammates who found me and hit me when I was open, and I was able to capitalize on it.”

Brothers Dilyn Skinner and Austin Skinner also hit double figures with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Russellville 80, Dawson Springs 77

With his 40-point game a few days prior, Pace entered Monday’s game only six points away from 1,000 for his career.

“It’s been a long haul, but it feels good to get to 1,000,” the senior said. “I just wish we had pulled out the win to make it even sweeter.”

After Pace reached his 1,000th point in the opening minutes of the second quarter, the Panthers put on an exciting close game for the few fans allowed in the gym due to COVID-19 protocols as it was a dog fight to the finish.

Dawson was down by three with three seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter and Hicks called a timeout to set up a play to in-bound the ball and try to send it into overtime.

McKnight took the pass, but his shot from downtown hit the top of the backboard as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

“I originally intended for our first few games of the season to be played at the end of the season to get us ready for the district tournament,” Hicks said. “I take losses harder than anybody, but right now I can’t take these losses hard. These guys have given me everything they’ve got, and we’ll be a good basketball team when I can get everyone together and we can learn the plays.”

Pace ended his night with 35 points while Dilyn Skinner had 16 and Austin Skinner had 12 points. McKnight recorded nine points in Monday’s loss.

Union County 77, Dawson Springs 68

The fatigue of the first three games of the season showed on Tuesday as another one got away from the Panthers at home.

Pace kept up the strong play with 33 points while McKnight scored double figures for the first time this season with 12. Austin Sknner had 10 points while his brother Dilyn Skinner recorded nine points in the loss.

Dawson will have a few days of practice before they host Hopkinsville at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

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