COFFEYVILLE — Seth Walden’s sixth three-pointer of the night with 50 seconds left kept Iola High’s Mustangs in line to pull a big upset on the road Tuesday.
Kansas Class 4A’s ninth-ranked Coffeyville Field Kindley High’s Golden Tornado boys clung to a one-point lead, 48-47. The Mustangs came out and fouled.
Cameron Craig, who led Coffeyville with 21 points, missed the front end of a one-and-one. Iola’s Alec Peterson grabbed the re-bound.
Craig stole the basketball from Kent Toland, who fouled to put Craig back on the line with 33 seconds in regulation. Again Craig failed to hit a free throw and Walden controlled the re-bound.
Iola worked for the final shot, down one point. The Mustangs had several tries and Peterson was fouled on a shot with six seconds left.
Peterson missed both free throws and Coffeyville pulled the rebound. Coffeyville’s Ethan Cordray went to the free-throw line with 3.5 seconds on the clock.
Cordray hit one of two foul shots to give his team a 49-47 lead. Iola did not get a shot off at the end.
“This was by far our best team effort this year or in the two years I’ve been here,” said Steve Taylor, Mustang head coach.
“We played as a team defensively, rebounding and offensively. We were pa-tient, worked our offense and got good shots.”
The Mustangs led most of the game. Coffeyville led 5-4 early then not again until the third quarter.
A three-point play by senior Chris Heffern, who got the start because Charles Apt is out with an ankle injury, lifted Iola to a 7-5 advantage. Peterson’s basket handed the Mustangs a four-point lead.
Walden hit back-to-back threes putting Iola up 15-7. A trey by Walden ended the first quarter and Iola was in front 20-14.
The Mustangs fended off the Golden ’Nado several times in the second quarter when Coffeyville drew within two and one.
Iola led 26-22 when Craig hit a three. Coffeyville also had its trouble at the free-throw line, 8 of 19, while Iola was 9 of 15.
Jerrik Sigg downed two free throws for the Mustangs with 37 seconds left in the half. The Mustangs led 28-25 at intermission.
Coffeyville outscored Iola 6-2 to open the third quarter. Cordray stole the basketball and scored on a layup to put his team up 31-30 with 6:30 on the clock.
Iola didn’t fold.
Peterson sank one of two free throws and after the miss, Walden pulled the rebound. Walden nailed a three and Toland hit two free throws.
The Mustangs were back out to a 36-31 lead. Walden hit two free throws to make it 38-35 with less than a minute left.
Craig closed the gap to one on a field goal. Iola missed a shot with eight seconds left in the third period. Craig scored to put Coffeyville up 39-38 going to the fourth quarter.
Toland and Coffeyville’s Jacob Meyer traded baskets. Cordray’s basket following a Mustang turnover gave his team a three-point edge.
Iola didn’t give up with over five minutes left. The Mustangs didn’t allow Coffeyville to rush away but also could not get even.
Coffeyville did just enough — scoring six points to Iola’s seven — in that span.
“This is the way we are capable of playing every game. If we do that, we’re tough to beat. We have to build on this for Thursday and the playoffs,” Taylor said.
The Mustangs are 3-12 in Southeast Kansas League play and 5-14 overall. Coffeyville, which had clinched the SEK title, improved to 14-1 in league and 16-2 overall.
Iola and Coffeyville are in next week’s Kansas Class 4A Substate Tournament hosted by Labette County High at Altamont.
Others in the substate are Chanute, Columbus, Independence, Parsons and Girard.
Iola has one league game left to end the regular season. The Mustangs host Pittsburg Thursday.
“Everybody contributed tonight and we got good minutes from the kids coming off the bench,” Taylor said.
Walden led all scorers with 22 points and had four steals. Toland had 15 points. Peterson pulled down nine rebounds and Chris Heffern had six rebounds. Christian Kauth dished out three assists.
Iola shot 40 percent, 16 of 40, from the field.
Cordray added 18 points for Coffeyville.
Coffeyville won the junior varsity game 40-23. Corey Taylor scored seven points for Iola.
In the freshman game, Coffeyville won 75-35. Mason Coons had 11 points for Iola.
Iola (20-8-10-9—47) (FG/3-pt): Ch. Heffern 1-1-4-3, Sigg 0-2-1-2, Toland 6-3-4-15, Kauth 1-0-0-2, Walden 1/6-2-4-22, Middleton 0-0-3-0, Peterson 1-1-2-3, Taylor 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 10/6-9-19-47.
Coffeyville (14-11-14-10—49) (FG/3-pt): Smallwood 0-0-1-0, Hobbs 0-0-3-0, Mitchell 1-2-1-4, Carr 0-0-2-0, Craig 8/1-2-2-21, Meyer 1-0-3-2, Cordray 8-2-1-18, Parker 1-0-1-2, Barnes 0-2-1-2. TOTALS: 19/1-8-15-49.
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