JARED McMASTERS

HUMBOLDT — For the second game in a row, the third quarter seemed to define the night for the Humboldt Cubs girls basketball team.

After the Cubs outscored the Erie Red Devils 9-0 in the third period of a four-point win last week, the Marmaton Valley Wildcats pulled a similar move during Tuesday night’s contest when they extended their lead over Humboldt by 10 points in a 35-31 win for the Wildcats.

“We just had too many turnovers and didn’t take care of the basketball,” Humboldt head coach Aubrey Jones said. “When you’re on the wrong side of that, (Marmaton Valley head coach) Becky (Carlson)’s got her girls coached well to be aggressive and attack. It was like we were asleep or in slow motion for parts of tonight. We had a real spark at the end, but it’s too little too late at that point.”

The spark Jones referenced was a 14-point fourth quarter for the Cubs that helped them cut the Wildcats’ lead to as little as one point with about 40 seconds to play.

“It was like my girls just snapped awake and did what we’ve done all last week,” Jones said. “I don’t know where it was earlier, but it just showed up too late.”

Marmaton Valley’s Janae Granere hit a pair of free throws to give the Wildcats a 34-31 advantage with 12.3 seconds remaining, which gave Humboldt the opportunity to come out of a timeout for a shot at a game-tying 3-pointer.

The Cubs swung the ball around the arc until it landed in McKenna Jones’ hands. The freshman guard pulled the trigger on an open shot to tie, but it bounced off the front of the rim, leaving Humboldt just short of overcoming that devastating third period.

“(McKenna)’s hit big shots before, and I was feeling pretty good about it, but I could tell when she released it that it was going to be a little short,” Jones said. “I was hoping we’d be able to get in there to crash and rebound.”

Granere went on to knock down another free throw to put the game out of reach for the Cubs and cap off a night in which Humboldt had no solution for stopping the Wildcats’ standout. The Marmaton Valley sophomore nailed 9-of-12 attempts from the free-throw line and eight field goals en route to 25 points.

Between her 14 second-half points and a 6:14 scoring drought by the Cubs in the third quarter, there were simply too many hurdles for Humboldt to overcome in its attempted rally. But, despite the final score, Jones remained optimistic that her squad left with some positive takeaways to prevent another lapse in the future.

“We talked about our capabilities and the fact that we were able to (cut the lead to one),” Jones said. “This is a young team and a new situation for them. Unfortunately, they figured this one out the painful way. Hopefully, they remember this for next time. We can’t be too little too late.”

Up Next 

The Cubs (2-3) will aim to bounce back when they travel to Fredonia on Tuesday, Jan. 11, after their winter break.

Marmaton Valley 35, Humboldt 31

Marmaton Valley: 8 9 12 6 —  35

Humboldt:       6 9  2 14 — 31

Scoring

Marmaton Valley: Janae Granere 25, Aly Ard 4, Pauline Thery 2, Payton Scharff 2, Tayven Sutton 2

Humboldt: Carsyn Haviland 11, Karley Wools 7, Brooklyn Ellis 7, Kenisyn Hottenstein 6

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