FORT SCOTT – Right out the gate, the Lady Blue Comets put their stamp on a regular season basketball game hosted in Fort Scott on Tuesday evening.
Fort Scott (3-8) from the get-go didn’t know what hit them, and as a result, Chanute won its tenth game of the year after a 58-28 blowout, moving CHS to 10-3 on the year. Chanute has now beaten Fort Scott for the third straight time in a row including last year.
Kori Babcock registered a game-high 17 points, five assists and five steals. Makayla Schoenhofer scored six and brought down 10 boards, and Mattilyn Cranor put up nine points and had eight steals.
The total team effort resulted in CHS’ best start since the 2015-16 season. Head coach Dustin Fox said that while he is proud of his team’s efforts, he wants his players to stay the course.
“The biggest thing is what’s happened previously doesn’t affect what’s happening next, and you can never go into a game and be like, ‘We beat this team before and we played well last game,’” Fox said. “You’ve got to bring it every single night and it’s about putting together that full, complete 32-minute effort. And that’s why I was so proud tonight. It was a complete game.”
The contest started with energy and defense that forced the Lady Tigers into turnovers and difficult shots. Set up in a 1-3-1 defense, Cranor up top was very active in playing the passing lanes, and CHS also focused on one of the better players in the SEK in Ella Beth, who scored nine points on the night. This resulted in some runouts and easy buckets for Chanute after much-needed rebounds.
Sophomore Jacelyn Catron was an integral cog in closing out defensive possessions that led to a 34-15 halftime lead and eventually a statement win.
“I feel like I rebounded pretty well and on defense I was really active in getting shots,” Catron said. “I try to position inside the person, closer to the lane. I usually just spin towards the middle of the lane, trying to get in the middle because that’s usually how I can jump up and reach everywhere.”
And the defense turned into offense. CHS swung the ball around efficiently, which in turn created enough space for various Lady Comets to get open looks. Other scorers for Chanute were Catron with eight, Brianna Waggoner with seven, Tyra Bogle with eight, and Jacey Lewis with four.
Playing eight in the original rotation, CHS spread out on offense in an effort to combat Fort Scott’s man defense. The spacing opened up the floor and made it tough for the Lady Tigers to guard Chanute one-on-one. What’s more, CHS stayed disciplined enough to make the right read.
“If the help didn’t come, Kori and Tyra did a terrific job of getting into the paint and scoring; if it did come, from the post you drop it off to Mak (Makayla) or Jacelyn, (and) if it comes to the corner, you kick it out,” Fox said. “It’s really a simple game, it’s just about making the right read. I loved the way we competed. I thought Bri Waggoner hit some big shots. I thought Jacey Lewis did some really good things on the perimeter.”
With the bounce-back win out of the way, Chanute (10-3, 5-0) will look to play Labette County (11-4) on the road Friday.