IOLA – Chanute’s current prodigal girls basketball player made history versus longtime rival Iola Friday night on the road. The Lady Blue Comets also won their tenth game in 12 tries with a 40-33 victory.
Senior Kori Babcock needed just one basket to get to her 1,000 career point. And she scored it on the very first offensive play of the game thanks to a steal and a coast-to-coast easy layup. In the game, Babcock scored 17. Freshman point guard Peyton Shields had 7.
Babcock said it was imperative for her to score the milestone.
“It feels great because I’ve been wanting to do it ever since I started basketball at high school,” Babcock said after the win. “It was my goal from my freshman year to now to get to 1,000. So it feels really good. And I’m just happy that I got it.”
Babcock was likely even happier that she was able to score her 1,000th point in a victory. And while Iola is a winless basketball team, the game was still a hard-fought win for CHS.
It was anybody’s game down the stretch.
Iola senior Lauryn Holloway tied the game at 27 with 5:30 to go in the fourth. Then Chanute leveled up as a team.
Shields was hacked and made a free throw to give Chanute the one-point advantage. Junior Jacelyn Catron got aggressive on defense, blocking two-straight shots to keep the score at 28-27 Chanute. Then, off an offensive rebound, Babcock dished to sophomore Brinly Bancroft, who put the score at 30-27 after an easy layup.
Chanute immediately stole the ball. That led to Babcock being fouled before she made both free throws.
In a rivalry game in which Iola fans were ecstatic every time their team made a basket, the Lady Mustang’s Aysha Houk then hit a 3 to get her squad within two. Iola’s crowd went nuts.
Quieting the rival crowd, sophomore Tyra Bogle was then fouled as she attempted a corner 3. Bogle, calmly, would go on to sink all three free throws to give the Lady Blue Comets a 35-30 lead.
Iola turned the ball over once more. And for Chanute, it was all about hitting free throws to get to the final score.
“In the second half, we were kind of just stuck in the mud defensively,” CHS head girls’ coach Dustin Fox said after the game. “We kind of switched it up defensively. We started pressing a little more, get some man-to-man. And I thought that kind of woke us up a little bit. The girls stepped up and made plays when they had to. I thought we got some big stops. I thought we stepped up and made some big free throws. Nine-tenths of that game was not pretty, but that last tenth, we did what we needed to do to win it.”
Much of the game was tough because Iola was playing chippy defense. Players would make moves to the lane and sometimes there were three Lady Mustangs rotating to stop a drive to the basket.
Babcock early on was also trying to figure out the defense. In the middle of the third quarter, she drove hard to the middle of the lane before committing an offensive foul. Being in foul trouble at that point, she was subbed out for Shields. Having that next-man-up mentality, Shields immediately made her presence felt by executing a jumper off of a pump fake, which tied the game up at 18 with under four minutes to go in the third.
On the very next possession, Iola turned the ball over. And as illustrated in the waning moments of the ballgame, that was how the game ended, playing in favor of the now-10-win team.
“We persevered through everything that was going on,” Babcock said. “We stepped up when we needed to finish the game strong. I feel like we stepped up in all the ways we needed to finish with a win.”
Fox had some thoughts of the historical night for Babcock.
“It’s a big moment for her and just a real credit to a consistent career she’s had,” Fox said. “She’s played with amazing teammates along the way to help her out. And she’d be the first to tell you that. (I’m) just proud of her. I remember meeting her for the first time in fourth grade coming to our camps. Just the work that she’s put in from that time – it didn’t start in high school. This is a kid who was in the gym consistently year after year in the summer. I’ve gotten more calls from her – ‘Hey can I get in the gym?’ – than any kid that I’ve ever had. There’s a reason why she’s the player she is. I’m proud of her for the accomplishment.”
Chanute (10-2, 3-1) will next play Pittsburg Tuesday 6 pm at home.
Chanute: 8 7 6 19 — 40
Iola: 9 5 11 8 — 33
Kori Babcock 17, Peytob Shields 7, Mattilyn Cranor 6, Tyra Bogle 4, Brinly Bancroft 3, Brianna Waggoner 3
Iola: Houk 11, Rebbeca Sprague 10