Mustangs falter late, end up fourth



January 25, 2010 - 12:00 AM

BURLINGTON  — Iola High’s Mustangs seemed to stand still down the stretch of Saturday’s third-place game of the 2010 Burlington High Invitational.
The Mustangs scored 10 points in that final eight minutes but it came only in spurts as Santa Fe Trail High’s Chargers continued their offensive run. The Chargers turned a 30-30 game with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter into a 53-40 win for them.
“If we had hit our free throws and layups in the first half, it wouldn’t have been an issue. We missed out on a lot of opportunities to take control of the game,” said Steve Taylor, Mustang head coach.
“We allowed their pressure to bother us in the fourth quarter. We stood around in the fourth quarter and didn’t run our offense.”
Finishing fourth in this year’s tournament was the best a Mustang team had placed at the Burlington Invitational. But that was little consolation for Taylor, who said he was disappointed in the way the Mustangs played in the game and in “not winning a game we were capable of winning.”
Topeka Hayden snared it’s fourth straight Burlington Invitational title beating Rossville 65-45 Saturday. Sabetha took fifth, defeating Labette County 53-44. Paola beat Burlington 61-49 for seventh place.
Iola senior Seth Walden was named to the 2010 all-tournament team.
Senior Kent Toland came off the Iola bench to spark the Mustangs early. Down 5-0, Toland hit a baseline jumper then nailed a three-pointer to tie the game with 2:26 left in the first quarter.
Charles Apt, a junior, scored to help the Mustangs keep pace with the Chargers. Senior Chris Heffern sank two free throws to give Iola 9-7 lead at the end of the period.
Michael Middleton, a senior, connected to put Iola up 11-7 at the 6:53 mark of the second quarter. Santa Fe Trail quickly took the lead on a three-point play and another basket by Jason Lee.
Alec Peterson, a senior, went 2 of 4 at the free-throw line for the Mustangs. Toland’s field goal with 3:28 left pushed Iola back in front 15-14.
Sophomore Christian Kauth scored and Iola had a three-point lead. The Chargers rattled off seven unanswered points to regain the lead.
Clint Heffern came up with the basketball and made a pass down court to Toland. Toland scored with three seconds to make it 21-19 at halftime.
Seth Walden opened the third quarter with a three and Peterson scored inside. The Mustangs grabbed a 24-21 advantage.
The Chargers answered back with two baskets and it was a back-and-forth game. Toland and Apt each had baskets. Toland downed two free throws with one minute left in the period to knot it up at 30-all.
Santa Fe Trail went on an 11-1 run starting then to take control of the contest. The Chargers led 41-31 with 6:15 left in the game.
Iola never recovered.
The Mustangs shot 30 percent, 14 of 47, from the field. They went 7 of 15 at the free-throw line. They had 20 turnovers and 27 rebounds.
Toland scored 16 points for Iola. Seth Walden had nine points and eight rebounds. Apt grabbed eight rebounds and Middleton had five steals.
Dalton Abel paced the Chargers with 17 points. Lee finished with 16 and Corey Dahl had 10 points. The Chargers were 9 of 21 at the line.
Iola (4-6) gets back into Southeast Kansas League play Tuesday, traveling to Pittsburg.
Iola (9-10-11-10—40) (FG/3-pt): Cl. Heffern 0-0-1-0, Ch. Heffern 0-2-3-2, Toland 4/2-2-2-16, Kauth 1-0-2-2, D. Walden 0-0-2-0, S. Walden 0/3-0-1-9, Apt 2-0-3-4, Middleton 1-0-4-2, Peterson 1-3-5-5. TOTALS: 9/5-7-23-40.
Santa Fe Trail (7-14-13-19—53) (FG/3-pt): Bahner 0-1-1-1, Perry 1-1-4-3, Ullery 1-0-2-2, Lee 6-4-2-16, Abel 8-1-3-17, Dahl 1/2-2-0-10, Ramsey 0-0-1-0, Kraus 2-0-3-4. TOTALS: 19/2-9-16-53.

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