Chanute High School’s basketball game went full circle Friday night thanks to Tye Coombs.
Coombs was one of the main contributors early on by scoring 9 points in the first quarter. But a couple of aggressive plays down the stretch ultimately led to Chanute notching over .500 with a 4-3 record after a 60-55 win over the Independence Bulldogs at CHS.
Coombs finished with 23 points and three rebounds, while Garrett Almond scored 16 with two rebounds.
Coombs orchestrated the three biggest plays of the ballgame successively. He drove deep in the paint to find Ty Bowman for an easy layup to make the score 52-49 late in the game. But then he made two straight drives to the hoop that resulted in a bucket, while having an opportunity to complete the three-point play at the charity stripe. The second of these monumental plays led to Chanute going up 56-51 with 37 seconds left in the game.
With the game coming down to a free-throw shooting contest, Kam Koester deliberately tried to miss a free throw to end the game with just 1.7 seconds left. But Koester accidently banked the ball in the hoop, which put the score at 60-55, the game’s final score.
Coombs said he constantly looks to make the right play.
“My mentality is just to be aggressive throughout the whole game – down the stretch, just keep that same mentality, be aggressive and just stay focused when I’m trying to hit that shot, the and-one,” Coombs said following the game.
Chanute’s hot start thanks to Coombs and Almond was spoiled in the middle of the game with the 3-ball, though Independence only made six 3s, versus Chanute’s 10.
The game got to a point when Davion Lewis hit a point-blank layup that put the Bulldogs up 49-48 late in the fourth.
But an 8-2 run led by Coombs’ huge layups down the stretch and the dish to Bowman pulled the Blue Comets away for good.
“I’m going to let my seniors play and let them take shots in big moments,” head coach Devon Crabtree said. “That’s what we did. We’ve just got to rely on those guys, their experience and mentality and just being a senior. I’m going to trust those guys and let them play every time. We’re not going to bring it out and do the stall stuff. We’re going to play and going to play downhill and make the officials blow the whistle.”
The Bulldogs were one of the bigger teams Chanute has faced this year, and doing a solid job on rebounding was huge. Chanute was able to nab the crucial rebounds, but Independence still outrebounded Chanute 28 to 25.
Bowman and Briley Peavy both nabbed eight rebounds apiece.
“We know they have really good bigs; they are probably one of the biggest teams we will see all year,” Crabtree said. “We know they are going to play through the post, so we tried to just do our best job with some of our undersized guys. I thought we did a pretty good job of rebounding. I think that was the difference because they are one of the best rebounding teams in our league. And we were able to keep them off the glass, especially in the second half. I thought that won us the game.”
What also won the game was Chanute players remaining poised within the flow of the offense. Peavy did a nice job handling the ball and using the pick-and-roll to navigate the lane. Koester found a rhythm with open shots and driving the ball in with a dribble or two. Bowman did an exceptional job of rebounding and driving strong to the hoop despite his shots not falling consistently.
The main guys played well, and this galvanized the team to win their fourth game of the year.
“(I’m) just proud of the guys and the way they played. They played with some adversity and came out with a W,” Crabtree said. “It was a lot of fun. I was proud of the group.”
Chanute (4-3, 2-1) will next play Parsons on Tuesday at 7:30 pm on the road.
Altoona-Midway 63, Chetopa 47
Chanute 60, Independence 55
Cherryvale 75, Neodesha 34
Columbus 53, Girard 52
Eureka 75, Fredonia 53
Fort Scott 47, Coffeyville 42
Galena 56, Frontenac 46
St. Paul 63, Pleasanton 51
Baxter Springs 39, Caney Valley 37
Chanute 63, Independence 48
Cherryvale 55, Neodesha 39
Chetopa 54, Altoona-Midway 8
Eureka 57, Fredonia 36
Fort Scott 39, Coffeyville 37
Frontenac 47, Galena 33
Girard 45, Columbus 20
Labette County 34, Pittsburg 24
St. Paul 40, Pleasanton 14