CHANUTE – Winning three of four games, Iola Middle School’s boys opened the 2012 basketball season Thursday. Eighth-grade and seventh-grade A-team games were decided by three points or less.
The IMS Ponies used a strong second half to capture a 27-24 win in the eighth-grade A-team contest against host Royster Middle School’s Rockets.
The Rockets built a 16-6 halftime lead.
Iola outscored Royster 12-4 in the third quarter and pushed to victory on a 9-4 run in the fourth period.
“It took us a while to get going, but the boys really played a good second half,” said Marty Taylor, IMS coach. “It was a good start but we have a lot of work to do.”
Brett Taylor fired in eight points for Iola’s balanced scoring attack and had six rebounds. Colby Works added seven points. Ethan Sigg scored six and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Coach Taylor said Sigg did a great job down low, controlling the boards and making several great passes to Brett Taylor “to get us back in the game. Brett made a couple of big shots in the second half.”
Brice Aiello added four points and had five rebounds for Iola. Gus Hopkins scored two points and cleared six rebounds.
The IMS eighth-grade B-team won 19-12. Sagar Patel led the way with eight points. Jake Gumfory and Zach St. Clair each had four points while Brandt Houk scored two and Ankit Gandhi had one point.
Royster got the edge in the seventh-grade A-team game in the second quarter. Following a 6-6 first period, the Rockets got to the break with a 14-10 lead. Royster beat Iola 21-19.
“I think everybody came out a little tight. We played a much better second half and had a shot at the buzzer to tie,” Taylor said.
Ben Cooper paced the Ponies with eight points. Braden Plumlee collected 12 rebounds and scored three points.
“Braden did a good job on the boards and Colton (Toney) gave us some very good minutes off the bench,” Taylor said.
Chase Regehr had four points for the Ponies. Gage Cleaver and Toney each had two points.
Iola won the seventh-grade B-team game 26-17. Toney and Cleaver each tossed in six points. Scoring four points each were Plumlee, Nate Evans and Darius Greenawalt. Mason Ingle had two points.
Today the IMS teams are holding a jamboree starting at 9 o’clock.
The Pony squads go to Independence on Monday, then play at home Thursday against Royster.
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