The Chanute boys basketball team fought hard in the first quarter, but Iola’s defense and fundamentally sound offense separated the Mustangs from the Blue Comets on Thursday night at Chanute High School.
Iola (8-4) won in wire-to-wire fashion over Chanute with an eventual score of 60-40. Garrett Almond was the high scorer for CHS with 12 points, while Kam Koester scored 11 and Ty Bowman had 8.
The Mustangs got off to a 12-2 run after Calvin Delich hit two free throws.
Staying in the game early, Bowman knocked down a 3 at the buzzer of the first quarter, which made the score 12-9. The very beginning of the quarter had Almond hit a basket as he was fouled to make the score 12-11.
But Iola would go on a 9-3 run to take the score to 21-11 with 4:55 left in the second. This was due to some offensive rebounding, sound ball movement and scoring in the paint.
This, along with pesky defense, put the halftime score at 25-15. A 3-2 zone from Iola really gave Chanute some fits.
“Defensively we were active, we challenged shots. We knew we could shoot the ball well, so we knew we had to get out on shots,” third-year Iola coach Luke Bycroft said. “There were a few uncontested ones, those were the ones that Chanute hit, but we challenged most of shots and we rebounded well. On the offensive end, we took care of the ball.”
In the second half, because Chanute was aggressive on defense, Iola utilized some cutbacks and curls to get some easy baskets. Cal Leonard took advantage of the miscues on defense, as he scored 16 points. Bradyn Cole scored 12.
“The guys played hard, I just didn’t have them ready to play. I mean that’s just what it comes down to,” head coach Devon Crabtree said. “I’ve got to do a better job of making sure they’re ready and prepared the right way, and we just didn’t do that.”
One situation that is hard to prepare for is not having the starting point guard. Briley Peavy didn’t play in the game because of a migraine headache.
Iola has been tough and sound all year, and the addition of Peavy could have helped certain instances.
Up next, Chanute (5-7) will play Fort Scott Tuesday on the road.