Big comeback not enough for Mustangs



February 3, 2010 - 12:00 AM

INDEPENDENCE — Digging out of a 16-point third-quarter hole, Iola High’s Mustangs battled back to lead by five points, 55-50, with 1:02 left in regulation Tuesday. It looked promising.
The Mustangs couldn’t hold on to the lead as host Independence High’s Bulldogs forged a 57-57 tie at the end of regulation. The Bulldogs outscored the Mustangs 14-7 in overtime to win 71-64 in Southeast Kansas League play.
“The kids fought hard to get back in the game and lead late. We did a good job at both ends of the court and on the boards,” said Steve Taylor, Mustang head coach.
“We let one slip away. We had opportunities but didn’t capitalize on them. We missed free throws and a lot of two-to-three-foot shots all night long.”
Independence’s Peyton Botts hit a big three-pointer  at the 43-second mark and the Bulldogs began extending the game. They fouled quickly to put Mustangs on the free-throw line.
Kent Toland hit both ends of a one-and-one for Iola with 35.7 seconds left. Michael Middleton came up with a defensive rebound, was fouled and missed on a one-and-one.
Easton Julian’s trey put the Bulldogs to within one. Foul and Middleton was at the line again for in a double-bonus situation. He missed both attempts and Independence grabbed the rebound.
Following a timeout, the Bulldogs first shot missed and Botts controlled the rebound. He was fouled and had a chance to win the game in regulation. Botts hit the first of two foul shots tying the game.
Independence got the tip in the four-minute overtime but turned the ball over. Missed opportunity for the Mustangs as they didn’t get a shot to fall.
Most of the scoring in overtime came at the free-throw line. Independence was 10 of 12 on foul shots with two field goals in the extra period.
The Mustangs didn’t score until there was about 1:30 left in overtime, when Middleton hit one of two free throws. The other six points were scored by Toland in the last minute.
“Down the stretch in the fourth quarter and in the overtime, we forced a lot of things. We forced shots instead of relaxing and running our offense. Things just got out of hand,” Taylor said.
The loss dropped Iola to 2-7 in SEK play and 4-9 overall. Independence moved to 4-5 in the league and 7-6 overall.
Iola hosts Labette County (3-6, 4-9) for a makeup game Thursday. The Mustangs travel to Columbus (1-9, 4-10) on Friday.
Iola jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a three by Seth Walden and a field goal by Toland. Independence’s Daniel Jenkins hit a three which was countered by  Iola’s Chris Heffern.
With Iola up 9-5, Independence rattled off 12 unanswered points to lead 17-9
at the end of the first quarter. The Mustangs trailed 25-19 at halftime.
About halfway through the fourth quarter, Iola looked up at a 16-point deficit, 41-25. Middleton got the Mustang climb rolling with a basket, then Drew Walden hit a trey.
Peterson and Middleton had back-to-back field goals to make it 43-34. Seth Walden, who had six threes on the night, drained one but it was equaled by a three-point play by Botts for Independence.
Middleton and Peterson each had two baskets, starting with the final shot of the third quarter, to bring the Mustangs to within one point, 46-45.
Jenkins scored in transition after an Iola turnover.
Toland hit one of two free throws then Middleton’s drive to the basket tied the game with just under four minutes remaining.
Toland handed Iola its first lead since the first quarter, 50-48. Botts knotted the score again with two charities.
Seth Walden drilled a three, Middleton grabbed a defensive rebound and Toland dropped in two free throws to give Iola a 55-50 lead.
Seth Walden paced the Mustangs with 18 points and Toland added 15. Peterson had a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Middleton had 11 points plus had two steals.
Iola shot 40 percent, 22 of 55, from the field but went 12 of 20 at the line.
Botts led the Bulldogs with 24 points, hitting 10 of 15 free throw tries. Jenkins chipped in with 19 points and Julian had 11.
The Bulldogs were 24 of 34 at the line.
Independence won the junior varsity game 48-39. Christian Kauth scored 20 points for Iola.
Independence captured a 48-43 win in the freshman game. Iola was led by Levi Ashmore with 20 points.
Iola (9-10-21-18-7 (OT)—64) (FG/3-pt): Cl. Heffern 0-0-1-0, Ch. Heffern 0/1-0-0-3, Sigg 0-0-1-0, Toland 4-7-3-15, Kauth 0-0-1-0, D. Walden 0/1-0-2-3, S. Walden 0/6-0-4-18, Apt 0-0-5-0, Middleton 5-1-2-11, Peterson 5-4-4-14. TOTALS: 14/8-12-23-64.
Independence (17-8-21-11-14 (OT)—71) (FG/3-pt): Botts 4/2-10-4-24, Webster 2-4-4-8, Dierks 2-0-4-4, Steinle 1-1-3-3, Reed 0-2-1-2, Jenkins 4/2-5-2-19, Julian 3/1-2-2-11. TOTALS: 16/5-24-20-71.

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