Wildcat twosome honored

Marmaton Valley High's Tyler Lord and Payton Scharff were voted as the Iola Register's male and female athletes of the month for their work on the basketball court. Each will get a free specialty pizza at Rookies.

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Sports

March 21, 2024 - 2:34 PM

Marmaton Valley High's Tyler Lord and Payton Scharff are the Iola Register's male and female athletes of the month. Photo by Richard Luken/Iola Register (left) and Eleanora Melani/MVHS

MORAN — Marmaton Valley High’s memorable basketball season had both its boys and girls teams ascending heights they hadn’t reached for several years.

The Wildcat boys advanced to the Class 1A-II State Tournament, the school’s first state tournament appearance in 23 years.

The Wildcat girls fell one game short of state, but their Class 1A-I Substate Championship game appearance marked the first time in recent memory the Wildcats had won multiple postseason games in one season.

Two of the key players in their teams’ success — sophomore Tyler Lord on the boys side, and Payton Scharff for the Wildcat girls — have been voted as the Iola Register’s male and female athletes of the month.

For winning, each gets a free specialty pizza, courtesy of Rookies in Iola.

Lord’s ascension down the stretch epitomized Marmaton Valley’s drastic improvement in the second half of the season. 

The sophomore point guard averaged 8.3 points,  6.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game, good enough to earn honorable mention for the Three Rivers League basketball team. 

He saved his best for last, averaging nearly 19 points a game in the postseason.

“I started shooting the ball more,” he noted. “We needed more points.”

Wildcat head coach Cornell Walls had impressed upon his players the importance of finishing strong, pointing to the school’s state playoff drought.

“He motivated us to get there,” Lord said.

“The season went pretty well,” he continued. “It was exciting to get to state.”

Lord also earned all-league and all-district honors as a defensive back and wide receiver during the football season.

Now, Lord is focusing on Marmaton Valley’s upcoming baseball season. He’ll play shortstop, pitch and bat at the top of the lineup.

“We should be pretty good,” he said.

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