Iola Middle School’s eighth-graders started out strong, but couldn’t sustain their level of play Thursday.
The seventh-graders, meanwhile, struggled mightily at the outside.
Visiting Fort Scott took three of four from Iola, including both A-team contests.
In eighth-grade action, Fort Scott broke open a 16-16 deadlock with a 10-1 third-quarter run in its 42-23 victory.
“We came out and played our best half of the year,” Iola head coach Marty Taylor said. “The girls were moving the ball and seeing the floor. We let a couple of mistakes snowball about halfway through the second half.
Fort Scott ended the game on a 16-6 run.
Colbi Riley led Iola with 11 points. Karly McGuffin, Madison Carlin and Chloe Wilson each scored four.
In the seventh-grade A-team affair, Fort Scott led 12-2 after one quarter and 18-4 at halftime of a 35-14 victory.
“We are doing some good things out there,” Taylor said. “Our half-court defense tonight was very good. We just make too many silly mistakes that add up to big runs. These girls are getting better. The more they play, the better they’ll get.”
Piper Moore scored 12 of the Ponies’ 14 points. Mia Aronson scored the other two.
IOLA’S seventh-grade B team won 12-8. Savannah Puckett — “who gave us a lot of energy,” Taylor said — led the way with six points. Kendra Sprague added four points. Kassy Shelby added two.
Fort Scott prevailed in the eighth-grade B team contest, 20-12. Macayla Bycroft scored four for the Ponies. Scout Rush added three, while Olivia Taylor, Wilson and Carly Cescon each added two.
Iola heads to Burlington today for a tournament. The seventh-graders play host Burlington at 10 a.m., the eighth-graders at 11:15. Results will determine whether the Ponies play for the third-place game or the championship to follow.
ON MONDAY, Iola will host Chanute’s Royster Middle School, starting at 3:30 p.m. Rather than accepting money, admission to the games can be granted by donating two canned food items for adults and one canned food item for students. Donations will be handed over to area food pantries.