PAOLA – Paola’s attention to Kori Babcock and a substantial number of fouls dropped the Chanute Lady Blue Comets Tuesday evening.
Multiple defenders showed up everywhere Babcock was on the floor, leading to CHS stumbling 46-36 with just one game remaining in the regular season.
But even with the defensive focus on Babcock, she still scored 21 points, brought down four rebounds and had two steals. The next highest scorer for Chanute was Jacey Lewis with five points and five rebounds.
“They definitely put a lot of attention on Kori, and when that happens, one – she has to see it, and two – the other kids have to step up and make shots,” said head coach Dustin Fox. We didn’t get a lot of those to fall and our offense kind of bogged down as a result.”
Paola led 26-22 at the break and 40-33 through three quarters before ultimately winning the game.
Babcock tried all night to take her defender off the dribble, where multiple passes were swung around the horn before an open shot, but those shots just weren’t falling.
On the defensive end, Chanute wasn’t getting the stops needed to go on a sustained run. What’s more, CHS was bailing out Paola with the fouls.
Paola had three players in double figures, including Trinity McDow’s 13 points and six rebounds, and Madison Bryant’s and Brayden Hanf’s 12 points. Hanf also chipped in with six rebounds.
This talent is nothing new to Paola. The program has been second in state several times. And right now, the Frontier League has three of the top-four teams in 4A, which means they’re seeing the best of the best.
“We knew that tonight was going to be a test and even though we lost, we learned a lot about ourselves,” Fox said. “We learned some things that we need to get better at as we head into sub-state. It was a good game for us, regardless of the end result.”
Up next, Chanute will take on Fort Scott at 6 pm Friday at home for the regular season finale.