PITTSBURG – Chanute basketball overcame pace of play, subpar interior defense, foul trouble, and Pittsburg High School All-State point guard Javon Grant in the waning moments of the game. The Dragons came out ahead 55-52.
After an inbounds play called “Thunder” that resulted in junior guard Kam Koester knocking down a 3 to give CHS a 50-48 lead – Chanute’s first lead of the basketball game – plays later, freshman guard Carter Coombs missed a layup and junior guard Shan Williams put the rock back up for an easy score. Chanute was sitting pretty with a 52-48 lead with three minutes to go in the game.
Pitt, though, tied the game at 52 after a steal and easy layup by Grant with two minutes to go. Pitt guard Cooper Ratzlaff then hit an and-one layup and a free throw to put the score up to 55-52 Pitt.
Still, Chanute had a chance. Koester drove into the teeth of the defense, but Pitt’s Jackson Turnbull took a charge with just 20 seconds to go in the game.
A defensive stand by Chanute led to a Coombs 3 from six feet beyond the arc that caromed off the rim, leaving the final 55-52.
Koester had a team-high 20 points with three 3s, Coombs scored 14 points on two threes, freshman forward Kaiden Seamster had nine points on three 3s, Williams mustered up four points, and senior guard Garrett Almond scored three.
“I thought it was a great call. The officials did a good job tonight,” CHS coach Devon Crabtree said. “I think it’s a good look. I’m trying to get our better players scoring opportunities. Kam thought that was a shot he wanted, and so he took it. I thought it was a great take. Great idea. It just happened to go the other way.”
That part of the game was a complete 180 from the first half, which was highlighted by Pittsburg’s full-court zone, the pace of play, and Grant, who scored 14 points in the half.
It didn’t help that Almond was in foul trouble in the second quarter after his second offensive foul in the half. Chanute’s Larson Koester had to come in for Almond to provide some energy on defense and take what the defense gave him.
But the third quarter was a different story for Chanute.
Seamster hit all of his threes to bring the game to 42-37 Pitt with two minutes left in the quarter. A few plays later, he snatched down an offensive rebound before passing to Koester for a 3 to make the score 44-40 with 10 to go in the third.
Almond in the third quarter suffered an ankle injury off of a routine drive to the basket. Crabtree said he is gathering information to find out the extent of the injury. Almond didn’t return.
The game got even closer in the fourth after Coombs’ free throws and dribble penetration, which led to a pass to Koester who knocked down a 3 to put the score at 48-47 with six to go. It was the next offensive play by Chanute that put CHS over the top with a two-point lead.
PHS head coach Jordan Woods said his defense stepped up in the end.
“We just put it back on our players. We talked about being locked into the game plan, and we focused in and did that down the stretch and ended up on the right end of it,” Woods said. “We were fortunate enough to make a play down there late.”
His team also scored off of made and missed baskets thanks to their swift pace down the court and dribble penetration. Grant and guard Elijah Thornton scored easy baskets and free throws. Grant put up 22 in the game, while Thornton had 11.
Chanute (5-6) will next play Coffeyville on Tuesday at 7:30 pm on the road.
Lady Comets: 3 9 16 19
Lady Dragons: 13 10 18 14
Babcock 25, Cranor 7, Catron 6, Brianna Waggoner 5, Peyton Shields 3, Tyra Bogle 1
Blue Comets: 5 15 20 12
Dragons: 15 20 9 11
Koester 20, Coombs 14, Seamster 9, Williams 4, Almond 3, Aaron Robertson 2
JV: Chanute’s JV team went down 59-50 Friday night at PHS.
Sophomore Eric Erbe had 18 points, while Kaidan Frederick had 15.
Chanute’s C-Team also lost 61-41.
Brax Peter had 11.