It looked as if Independence would escape with a win Friday night after junior Brecken Bertie stroked a corner 3 with four seconds to go to put the Bulldogs up 45-44. But down by just a point, freshman Chanute point guard Carter Coombs was fouled as he fell to the court.
Coombs knocked down two free throws with seconds to go in the ballgame. From full court, Indy tried a Hail Mary pass, but senior guard Kam Koester intercepted the basketball. That promptly ended the game at 46-45, putting Chanute at 7-6 with a two-game win streak.
“We had opportunities to win the game earlier than that. We’ve got to find ways to get better late in games, taking care of the ball and understanding what we’re trying to do in situations,” CHS coach Devon Crabtree said.
Coombs was trying to be more aggressive since senior guard Garrett Almond is inactive since he injured his ankle. Coombs canned 16 points, including two treys, and it definitely helped his team through a series of runs in the game.
Senior guard Shan Williams had the same mentality, only he scored his baskets on offensive rebounds and open shots. Williams had a season-high 14 points, which included one 3.
Notable points in key moments included Williams catching a rebound and scoring off of a Koester trey attempt with seconds left in the first half. He was fouled, and was able to knock down a free throw to put the score at 21-17, the halftime score. Then he drained a 3 as time expired in the third quarter, putting the score at 29-28 Indy.
“We lost Garrett. And I just need to step up in the gym, working on my shot, and I just need to score more since we don’t have our leading scorer,” Williams said. “I was just following the shot, rebounding and crashing the glass. I will try to score more. (This) builds on my confidence.”
Williams started a run late in the third quarter that went well into the fourth. Early in the fourth, freshman forward Larson Koester hit two straight 3s that put Chanute up 34-29 with 6:14 to go in the fourth. Coombs’ layup earlier in the quarter made it an 11-0 run.
Williams then hit a long deuce that put his squad up 40-34.
Then the game got dicey for Chanute.
With the score at 43-42, Coombs missed an and-one free throw with 17.4 seconds to go in the game. But Robertson came up with huge steal on the next Indy possession. He made 1-of-2 free throws to put the score at 44-42.
The next sequence, Bertie hit a corner 3 to give Indy the lead late in the ballgame.
But Coombs came up huge. His career-high on Thursday against Iola helped his confidence heading into Friday’s game.
The entire team had confidence on offense and defense. Chanute did their best on defense to keep Indy big Easton Ewing from having an effect on the game. He still used his height (6-6) to have his way in the paint, scoring 18 points. It was Ewing’s interior and perimeter passing ability that also kept the game close.
Chanute (7-6) will play Coffeyville today on the road around 3 pm after the girls' game.
Chanute: 10 11 7 18 — 46
Indy: 8 9 12 16 — 45
Coombs 16, Williams 14, Kam Koester 7, Larson Koester 6, Kaidan Frederick 2, Robertson 1