PITTSBURG – Chanute girls basketball faced an uphill battle for most of the game Friday at Pittsburg High School. Too much of a deficit eventually led to the loss for Chanute by a score of 51-45.
The Lady Comets were down by as much as 16 in the third quarter, mostly because of PHS guard Madden Petty, who hit five 3s in the game and scoring 30 in the game. But Chanute tried to scratch and claw their way back, largely due to senior point guard Kori Babcock’s team-high 25 points, four steals and three assists, senior forward Mattilyn Cranor’s seven points, three rebounds and two steals, and junior guard Jacelyn Catron’s six points, two rebounds and two assists.
“We kept competing. And we didn’t shoot the ball well most of the night. In fact, in the first three quarters, I’m not sure we made a shot, it feels like. I mean I know we did but it didn’t feel like we made anything in those first three quarters,” CHS coach Dustin Fox said. “We looked up, and we saw that hey, ‘We still have a chance at this.’ Girls kept competing and we made a run at it. The big thing was, we were getting some stops, turning them over, and sort of hit some shots. They’re ranked No. 5 in Class 5A for a reason. They’re a heck of a team. For us to be where we were after shooting like we were, I was actually really encouraged.”
Stifling defense near the end led to Babcock and Catron hitting some 3s and Cranor getting out on transition for easy baskets.
Babcock was able to hit an easy layup after a turnover by Pitt All-SEK center Ela Hendrickson, who scored eight points in the game. That put the score at 51-45, but that was as close Chanute was able to get.
Two quarters earlier, Chanute was down 23-12 at the break. It was a challenge for Chanute to score because Hendrickson was taking away paint. From the perimeter, the Comets were just missing shots, but the Lady Dragons limited Chanute to one-shot opportunities for the majority of the time, eliminating second-chance opportunities.
It was one-and-done many times for Chanute on offense. But in the grand scheme of things, it looked as if Pittsburg wanted to make amends for losing to Chanute on Feb. 2 at CHS.
A big part of Pitt’s success was senior All-SEK guard Petty getting hot early on. Petty hit a 3 in the first quarter and followed it up with two treys in the second quarter and two in third.
On many occasions, Chanute would go under screens to allow Petty to get wide open. Fox kept yelling to his players not to go under the screens as the game unfolded.
“I feel like my offense was more on tonight. Yesterday (50-36 loss to Labette County) I had a defensive game. And this game was my offensive game,” Petty said. “I think I really helped offensively. But I really try to keep everyone together and hype up the defense. I’m just really proud of the way everyone played tonight.”
Petty went over 1,000 points for her high school career in the third quarter. The next quarter, Chanute scratched its back into the game after Catron knocked down a 3 to put the score at 43-31 with seven minutes to go.
Following Petty’s layup off of a steal to put the Lady Dragons up 16, Babcock hit a 3 to get CHS within 10, 47-37 with over five minutes to go.
That was just two of Babcock’s 12 points in the fourth. Shields also hit a 3 to help cut into the lead. Defensively, the entire team did their best to stay in front of Pittsburg.
To patch up some things for the next game, Fox said he wants his team to take care of the ball and play perimeter defense a little better. Chanute (11-6) will next play Coffeyville on the road Tuesday at 6 pm.