Mustangs lose heartbreaker



February 12, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Jerrik Sigg grabbed his head in disbelief. He and the rest of the Iola High Mustangs had put themselves in a position to win or at the least tie Friday’s game.
Sigg was at the free-throw line with no time left in regulation. The Mustangs trailed visiting Fort Scott High’s Tigers 36-34.
All by himself at the line, Sigg was off the mark with his first attempt and he couldn’t believe it. He did hit the second toss but the Southeast Kansas League game went to the Tigers, 36-35.
“We had opportunities throughout the game to take this one. We tied it up at 34-34 with over three minutes left and didn’t score on several trips down the court,” said Bill Peeper, Mustang head coach.
“Defensively, I couldn’t ask for anything more from our players They held a very good team in the 30s. It was another very good effort by our kids.”
In their first home game since Jan. 4, the Mustangs gave up four threes in the first quarter to the Tigers. But Iola was scoring also and trailed 14-10 at the buzzer.
Sigg opened the second quarter with a basket and Braden Larson sank two free throws to make it 14-all with 6:53 on the clock.
Iola didn’t score again until Corey Taylor rang up a field goal with 40 seconds remaining. That put Iola within three, 19-16.
Fort Scott’s Matt Wright completed a three-point play 12 seconds later. The Tigers went to the locker room with a 22-16 lead.
The Mustangs continued to play tough defensively in the second half. At the offensive end, Iola went inside.
Charles Apt had two baskets and Larson had a three-point play. Iola trailed 24-23 at the 4:23 mark of the third quarter.
Fort Scott outscored Iola 7-2 the rest of the period.The Tigers carried a 31-25 leading into the final period.
“We rebounded well most of the game. The real killer came at the start of the fourth quarter. They got a couple of offensive rebounds which eventually led to a three,” Peeper said.
Fort Scott’s Cody Harper, who had three three-pointers in the first quarter, drained a trey with 7:40 on the clock. The Mustangs didn’t fold.
Levi Ashmore downed one of two free throw attempts. Iola defended. Christian Kauth connected for Iola. Iola defended. Jarred Latta drove to the rim for two.
The Mustangs had the deficit cut to four and Fort Scott took a time out at the 5:31 mark. Iola defended.
Kauth scored cutting the margin to two. Iola defended.
Ashmore drove to the lane but made a pass out to Latta. Latta twisted around and hit a shot to tie it at 34-34 with 3:38 left in the game.
Fort Scott missed three straight free throw attempts. Jaret Thorpe hit one of two with 1:40 on the clock to give the Tigers a 35-34 lead. Iola turned the ball over with 1:22 left.
Fort Scott worked the ball around running time off the clock. Thorpe went back to the foul line with 25.1 seconds remaining. He hit one of two.
The Mustangs worked to get a shot at the end of the game. Sigg got an offensive rebound and was fouled while shooting at the buzzer.
“I’m proud of the way our kids play. Teams in our position with the wins we have would have just quit trying,” Peeper said. “Our kids come ready to work and get better and we are getting better. It says a lot about the character of our players.”
Larson and Kauth had eight points apiece for Iola. The Mustangs were 7 of 11 at the free-throw line.
Apt and Larson each controlled four rebounds. Ashmore had five assists and two steals.
Harper finished with 12 points to lead the Tigers. Fort Scott went 7 of 16 at the line.
The loss dropped the Mustangs to 0-3 in SEK play and 1-14 overall. The Tigers improved to 2-2 in league and 9-7 overall.
Iola travels to Columbus in SEK action Tuesday.
Fort Scott won the junior varsity game 58-28 and Devon Conner scored 11 points for Iola. The Tigers took the freshman game also, 49-39. Adam Kauth scored 15 and Tyler McIntosh had 11 for Iola.
Iola (10-6-9-10—35): Heffern 0-0-3-0, Ashmore 0-1-3-3, J. Latta 2-0-2-4, Sigg 2-2-1-6, Taylor 1-0-2-2, Larson 2-4-3-8, C. Kauth 4-0-0-8, Apt 2-0-3-4. TOTALS: 12-7-17-35.
Fort Scott (14-8-9-5—36) (FG/3-pt): Stark 0-0-2-0, Quick 0/1-0-2-3, Thorpe 2-2-2-6, Wright 1-1-3-3, Woodring 2-2-1-6, Knopp 1-0-2-2, Harper 0/4-0-0-12, Durbin 1-2-2-4. TOTALS: 7/5-7-14-36.

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