ALTAMONT — Iola High’s Fillies’ 2009-2010 season ended where it started — on the Labette County High basketball court.
The Fillies struggled offensively Thursday night in their 2010 Kansas Class 4A Substate Tournament semifinal. Labette County High’s Grizzlies, the tournament hosts, weren’t doing much better.
The Grizzlies led 22-18 after three quarters and 31-22 with four minutes remaining in the game. They hit 8 of 8 free throws to seal a 41-33 win, ending the Fillies’ season.
Labette County, the No. 2 seeded team, plays top-seeded Girard for the 4A substate championship at 6 p.m. Saturday in Altamont. Girard beat Chanute 47-37 Thursday.
It was the fourth time the two teams met this season. Iola lost 54-36 in the season opener at Labette then played the Grizzlies to within eight and seven points two other times.
But what Fillies’ head coach Becky Carlson really wanted to talk about following the loss was the character of her players.
“It was a fun season with a great bunch of kids to be around. They worked well with each other on and off the court,” Carlson said.
“Yes, it’s disappointing to lose but I enjoyed coaching this group of girls.”
All season the Fillies had trouble scoring. Thursday’s substate semifinal was no exception.
“Labette is a very good defensive team and we didn’t get a lot of good looks at the basket. The ones we did get,we just didn’t get enough of the shots to fall for us,” Carlson said.
“Even down 9-2 after the first quarter, this team did what it has all year — battle and play hard. They never, never gave up this season no matter what the score was. That attests to the character of these girls.”
Iola’s only points in the first quarter was a basket by Kendra Taiclet at the 2:24 mark. But at the time, Iola only trailed 3-2.
Iola was playing pretty good defensively. After Labette County went on a six-point flurry to end the first period, the Grizzlies only scored two points in the second quarter.
Jazmyne Honeycutt, one of five seniors on the Iola team, connected at the 6:33 mark to make it 9-4. Senior Lyndsi Faulhaber drained a three-pointer to close the gap to two with 5 minutes left.
The Fillies had a chance to tie the game but turned the ball over. Iola had 16 turnovers in the game.
McKenna Britton scored for Labette County with 4:12 on the clock. It was 11-7 and that’s where it stood at halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, Iola turned the ball over twice leading to a basket for the Grizzlies. The Fillies righted themselves.
Kayla Callahan worked inside for two and Kelsey Larson drove to the basket for another two points. It was 13-11 at the 5:41 mark.
Morgan Workman hit a long jumper for two, then Shelbie Foister nailed a three-pointer. Labette County had a seven-point lead again. The Grizzlies extended it to 22-13 with 2:14 left.
Honeycutt hit one of two free throws then had a basket for Iola. Larson sank two free throws with 1.9 seconds on the clock.
Iola was still within reach of Labette County, 22-18, with eight minutes to play.
Unfortunately, the Fillies could not get shots to fall when Labette County’s defense allowed them to shoot as the fourth quarter got under way. Britton had five of six points scored for the Grizzlies in the first two minutes of the period.
A three-pointer by Tiara Ford at the 5:09 mark had Labette County up 31-20. Callahan scored a minute later.
“They hit some big shots — a couple of threes — to extend their lead. We just have a hard time matching up with them,” Carlson said.
Iola shot 27 percent, 13 of 48, from the field. Labette County only hit at a 28-percent clip, 12 of 42.
It was at the free-throw line that Labette County had a big edge. The Grizzlies cashed in on 12 of 18 foul shots while the Fillies were 5 of 10.
“It’s always tough to lose and not many teams get to end their season with a win,” Carlson said. “But to go and upset a team like Independence and play hard to the end against Labette County, again speaks volumes to the character of our girls.”
Larson led the Fillies with nine points and five rebounds. Honeycutt had seven points and seven rebounds.
Faulhaber hit two threes for six points. Seniors Mindy Powelson and Michelle Clark scored two points and one point, respectively, in their final game. Senior Shelby Greenwood had four rebounds.
“We had great senior leadership this year. Our seniors held our team together and helped our younger players,” Carlson said.
For Labette County, Britton had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Foister, who hit three threes, had 10 points.
Iola ended the season at 8-14. The Fillies finished seventh in the Southeast Kansas League at 5-11.
Carlson is one shy of her 400th win as a coach. Her Hillsboro High and Iola High girls’ basketball teams have given her 399 wins against 195 losses.
Iola (2-5-11-15—33) (FG/3-pt): Faulhaber 0/2-0-1-6, Larson 3-3-2-9, Taiclet 1-0-4-2, Wilson 1-0-3-2, Greenwood 0-0-1-0, Clark 0-1-0-1, Honeycutt 3-1-2-7, Callahan 2-0-3-4, Powelson 1-0-0-2, McGuffin 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 11/2-5-17-33.
Labette County (9-2-9-21—41) (FG/3-pt): Workman 1-0-0-2, Woolfork 0-0-1-0, Lehmann 1-0-2-2, Smith 0-0-2-0, Rohling 2/1-1-3-8, Ford 0/1-6-0-9, Nally 0-0-3-0, Britton 3-4-2-10, Foister 0/3-2-10. TOTALS: 7/5-12-15-41.
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