Iola High’s Jazmyne Honeycutt (22) had Independence High’s Lady Bulldogs’ number Monday in Kansas Class 4A Substate Tournament play. Honeycutt led the Fillies past hosting Independence 39-33 to advance in the postseason.
INDEPENDENCE — Iola High’s Fillies trusted their head coach. Becky Carlson had a plan and the Fillies executed it well down the stretch.
The Fillies held a six-point lead over host Independence High’s Lady Bulldogs. There were six minutes left in Monday night’s Kansass Class 4A Substate Basketball Tournament opener.
“I told them we were going to pull the ball out. They said ‘O.K., coach,’ and these girls did a great job passing the ball, coming back to the ball and it worked,” Carlson said after the Fillies, seeded No. 6, defeated the third-seeded Lady Bulldogs 39-33.
It was a good plan as the Fillies were in foul trouble and needed to run time off the clock. Iola had lost twice to Independence in the regular season.
Third time was a charm as senior Jazmyne Honeycutt matched her uniform number in scoring 22 points. Honeycutt also had seven rebounds and three steals in the game.
The victory allows the Fillies, 8-13, to advance to the semifinals of the substate tournament Thursday at Altamont.
Iola plays the tournament host team, Labette County, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Labette County (17-4) defeated Parsons 47-32 Monday.
Top-seeded Girard cruised past Coffeyville 64-25 and Chanute beat Columbus 49-36.
The victory also moves Carlson one win away from recording her 400th coaching victory. She record stands at 399-194.
Iola and Labette County will meet for the fourth time this season. The last two times — in January’s Burlington tournament and in Iola on Feb. 5 — the Fillies lost by seven-point margins.
The Fillies battled back from a 10-2 first-quarter deficit against Independence. Iola opened the game with a basket by Honeycutt then the Lady Bulldogs rolled to the lead.
Foul trouble began early for Iola as junior post player Kayla Callahan picked up her second foul with 4:35 left in the quarter.
Kendra Taiclet, a junior, and Kelsey Larson, a sophomore, picked up Iola and helped them cut into the lead. The Fillies trailed 12-6 at the end of the period.
The Fillies continued to work hard defensively, holding Independence at 12 for more than four minutes. Honeycutt had a basket then drained a three-pointer with 6:11 left to make it 12-11.
Larson came up with a steal and got the ball ahead to Honeycutt for a go-ahead bucket. Kayla Steinle sank two free throws as Callahan pikced up her third foul at the 3:57 mark.
Chelsey Mundy had two inside baskets for Independence with a field goal by Honeycutt in between. Carlson sent junior Toni Taylor into the game in the final two minutes of the quarter.
It paid off for Iola as Taylor hit a three-pointer to tie the game, 18-18, with 15.4 seconds left. Mundy was fouled just before the buzzer and hit one of two free throws to give the Lady Bulldogs a 19-18 halftime lead.
“This team did what it has been doing all year — playing hard the whole game. We’re in the game and have an opportunity to win,” Carlson said about where her team was at halftime.
“Sure, they could have folded in the first quarter but that’s not the character of these girls.”
The third quarter started like the first two with Honeycutt scoring for Iola. Independence’s Lauren Whitson scored her three points of the night on one play — a basket and a free throw.
Larson tied the game at 22-22 but 20 seconds later had to go to the Iola bench with three fouls. Callahan’s lone basket of the night put Iola up by two.
Iola was controlling the game but on consecutive plays Taiclet was called for charging fouls and she had three. Honeycutt had three fouls with almost three minutes left in the third quarter.
“I’ve always told our players we have to adjust to the officiating. And they were getting frustrated but our seniors did a good job of telling everybody to just shake it off and play,” Carlson said. Despite the troubles, Iola did not have any players foul out of the game.
Down 26-24, Honeycutt drilled her second three of the night at the 1:49 mark. She then scored the final three points of the period to put Iola up 30-26.
The Fillies took firm hold of the game with defense down the stretch. Larson scored with 6:24 left and Honeycutt came up with a defensive rebound.
Then came the coach’s plan. The Fillies made the Lady Bulldogs work defensively as they moved the basketball and finally got a shot they wanted. It was a three by Taylor at the 4:37 mark.
Another defensive rebound 20 seconds later and Iola was content to work the ball and the clock. Honeycutt knocked down three free throws to push Iola’s lead to 38-28 with 2:18 left.
Independence’s Talor Smith connected on a three-pointer with 54 seconds left that made it 38-33. Larson was fouled on a defensive rebound with 37 seconds left and hit one of two for the final margin.
“We took great shots in the second half and had a great defensive effort. We got solid play from our players off the bench,” Carlson said. “We’ve worked hard on taking care of the ball better and we did that tonight.”
Carlson admitted that one worry about pulling the ball out in the fourth quarter was Independence’s quickness. The Fillies handled the ball and executed the plan.
Iola shot 45 percent, 14 of 31, from the field and hit 7 of 14 free throw attempts. The Fillies had five turnovers and 26 rebounds.
Honeycutt was the only player in the game to score in double figures. She also had seven rebounds and three steals. Larson had two steals.
Independence (14-7) shot 31 percent, 12 of 39, from the field and went 6 of 12 at the free-throw line. Mundy led the Lady Bulldogs with nine points.
Iola (6-12-12-9—39) (FG/3-pt): Larson 2-3-2-7, Taiclet 2-3-2-7, Taylor 0/2-0-0-6, Wilson 0-0-1-0, Honeycutt 6/2-4-3-22, Callahan 1-0-4-2, Powelson 0-0-1-0, McGuffin 0-0-2-0. TOTALS: 10/4-7-16-39.
Independence (12-7-7-7—33) (FG/3-pt): Smith 0/2-0-3-6, Whitson 1-1-1-3, McGrath 2/1-1-3-8, Steinle 1-3-0-5, Wilson 0-0-1-0, Hignight 1-0-3-2, Mundy 4-1-3-9. TOTALS: 9/3-6-14-33.
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