Knights Fall Short of Warriors on Senior Night

Senior Fletcher Dietrich regains his balance in a Feb. 1 loss to Lindbergh (Jacob Lintner)

Two evenly matched teams, a full crowd projected to be on hand, and the Knights’ final home game of the season; many expected it to be a special night.

They were not wrong.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the SCW Warriors and the FHN Knights battled on Senior Night all of the way up to the final whistle, where the Warriors were able to pull out a 60-56 win over the hosts.

The loss dropped the Knights to a 5-17 record, while the Warriors improved to 10-14. The crowd was lively all night, making the finish all that more exciting. Junior wingman Rizwan Hyder described the crowd’s impact and what the atmosphere was like that night.

“The atmosphere was electric,” Hyder said, “and the fans were appreciative for all the work the seniors have put in the past couple years and it culminated for a nice night.”

SCW was led by sophomore guard Trent Champagne, who had 16 points, and senior Tommie Whitney with 12 points. Both played key roles in giving the Warriors a comfortable 31-18 lead at the half, but the Knights stormed back behind strong efforts from seniors Fletcher Dietrich, 21 points, and Tucker Rhoads, 9 points, to go along with junior guard Drew Kilmer’s 12. Dietrich explained what led to his big night.

“I knew this was my last game playing at home, and I had more confidence than ever,” Dietrich said. “All it took was for me to settle down a little bit, get into the rhythm of the game, and let the big crowd give me that extra boost.”

With a new half came a new Howell North offense. Tucker Rhoads began the second half with 5 points in the first two minutes. Fletcher Dietrich then nailed a three to cut the Warriors’ lead to 12, and he converted an and-one on the next possession to make it a nine-point game. An Evan Gallagher layup was followed up by yet another Dietrich three, making it a 41-36 Warriors lead at the end of the third quarter.

With two minutes left in the game, Drew Kilmer hit a three to make it a 53-48 ballgame. After back-to-back fouls by the Warriors’ Josh Anderson, who fouled out after a flagrant technical foul for taunting, Dietrich hit three of four free throws to make it a three point game with a minute left.

Justin Mathews-Williams made it a one-point game with just 41 seconds remaining, but the Warriors pulled away late and won by a score of 60-56.

FHN head coach Darrell Davis commented on the Warriors and his team’s effort on the night.

“They’re a good team and a well-coached team,” Davis said. “We got off to a bad start, but our kids had a lot of heart and came back and were close to winning the thing.”

The Knights will finish off the regular season on Friday, Feb. 24 at FZW. The two teams last met on February 7, where the Jaguars won 68-51 over the Knights.

FHN will then head to McCluer North the next day to take on Hazelwood West at 11:45 a.m., their first game in Districts.