Mustangs start too slow against Wildcats



January 19, 2011 - 12:00 AM

BURLINGTON — Iola High’s Mustangs did not go quietly Tuesday night in the first round of the 2011 Burlington High Invitational.
The Mustangs could have, after trailing Burlington High’s Wildcats 22-3 at the end of the first quarter.
“But we made a game of it, didn’t we,” said Bill Peeper, Mustang head coach, after Iola lost 70-59. The Mustangs had the margin whittled down to eight points several times and it was 65-59 with 1:03 left to play.
“Unfortunately, basketball games consist of four quarters. We played three pretty good quarters tonight but that first period was terrible.”
With the loss, the Mustangs dropped to 0-9 on the season. They move into the consolation side of the tournament.
On Friday, the Mustangs face Rossville, the No. 4 seeded team that was upended by Santa Fe Trail 78-46 Tuesday. Iola and Rossville play at 8:15 p.m. in the Burlington Middle School gym.
On the other side of the bracket, Labette County pulled off the biggest upset of the first round. The seventh-seeded Grizzlies defeated No. 2 seeded Sabetha 52-37. Topeka-Hayden downed Paola 56-37.
If the Mustangs win Friday, they play the winner of Sabetha-Paola for fifth place. If they lose, they play for seventh place. Those games will be Saturday afternoon at BMS.
“I’m excited about what we could be but disappointed in what we are right now as a team,” Peeper said. “These three quarters show our potential as a team but when we can’t put together four solid quarters, we’re not going to be successful.”
Peeper did point out that his team is showing improvement, which is encouraging. Inconsistency is a big drawback for the Mustangs, he said.
After falling behind early, the Mustangs came out on a 9-1 run to open the second quarter. Jarred Latta connected to begin the period then Charles Apt, who had the three points for Iola in the first quarter, scored.
Clint Heffern fired in a three-pointer. Heffern stole the basketball in the backcourt and had a layup to make it 23-12 with 6:08 on the clock.
Burlington’s Brooks Boyce sank two free throws and had a basket to push the Wildcat lead up again. The free-throw line became a welcome mat for the Wildcats in the game.
Boyce went 9 of 11 at the line as the Wildcats fended off the Mustangs in the second half with free throws. Burlington cashed in on 23 of 37 charity tosses for the game.
Iola faced a 15-point halftime deficit, 33-18.
Burlington’s 6-6 junior post player Blake Thomsen kept his team in front by stepping out and hitting three three-pointers in the third quarter. The Mustangs were chipping away at the Wildcat lead.
Apt opened the third quarter with a basket then Braden Larson had two baskets on the inside. A three-point play by Apt with 4:15 on the clock made it 38-27
and Jerrik Sigg cut the gap to nine, 38-29.
Thomsen’s third trey of the period was answered by a three from Iola’s Levi Ashmore. Burlington led 50-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
Boyce hit a three and Taylor Sutherland sank one of two free throws to give the Cats a 54-36 lead. The Mustangs would not fold.
Ashmore drilled a three with 4:30 left that made it 58-48. Sigg would hit 5 of 6 free throws in a two minute stretch. Heffern’s basket with 1:15 left made it 64-57.
With under a minute left, Iola had the ball and a chance to cut the margin to four. The Mustangs were charged with an offensive foul giving up the ball to the
Wildcats with 43 seconds left.
Burlington was 4 of 6 from the charity stripe in the final 40 seconds to seal the win.
Sigg paced the Mustangs with 18 points. Larson and Apt each finished with 10 points. The Mustangs were 11 of 14 from the free-throw line.
Thomsen fired in 19 points for Burlington and Boyce had 18. Mahoney added 11.
“We have to be willing to sellout to make a play. We have to find the confidence to make the big shot and be more involved on the glass for rebounds,” Peeper said.
“It’s the mental effort right now that we don’t have. We have to find the will to do it on the court.”
Iola (3-15-18-23—59) (FG/3-pt): Heffern 2/1-0-5-7, Ashmore 0/2-0-3-6, Coons 0-0-2-0, Latta 2-2-1-6, Sigg 4/1-7-4-18, Larson 5-0-4-10, Kauth 1-0-4-2, Apt 4-2-4-10, Clubine 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 18/4-11-28-59.
Burlington (22-11-17-20—70) (FG/3-pt): Sutherland 0-2-3-2, Mahoney 4-1-3-11, Boyce 3/1-9-1-18, Foster 0/1-0-1-3, Bluma 2-2-1-6, Ramsey 1-4-2-7, Moore 2-0-0-4, Thomsen 3/3-4-3-19. TOTALS: 15/5-23-14-70.

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