Francisco's 34 points lead 'Hounds

Monday, March 5, 2007

Bateko Francisco snapped back into form Saturday afternoon as Fort Scott Community College's men concluded regular-season play with a 109-96 victory over Labette in Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division play.

Just three days after Francisco had a disappointing five-point night on two-of-15 shooting in the Greyhounds' loss at Allen County, the Paris, France sophomore came back with a career-high 34 points on 15-of-19 shooting.

Fort Scott's 109 points were the 13th-highest in the program's recorded history and the second-highest against a conference opponent. The only times Fort Scott has scored more against a Jayhawk Conference opponent were Jan. 20, 1970 against Allen County and Feb. 19, 1972 against Independence. In both games, the Greyhounds scored 110 points.

Both teams shot lights out in this game. Fort Scott made an astounding 61 percent of its shots from the floor, connecting on 39 of 64 field-goal attempts. Labette shot 55 percent on the day on 36 of 66 and also connected on 13 of 24 three-point attempts.

Arsenio Williams added 22 points for the Greyhounds, who finished division play at 11-7 and stand at 19-11 overall. Kyle Cooper had 21 points.

Mekail Reed led Labette, 9-9, 15-14, with 28 points on 11-of-16 field-goal shooting. Charles Neal added 19 points for the Cardinals, while Sean High had 16, Andrija Tintor 12 and Ismar Neto 11.

Although Fort Scott finished fourth in the division, tie-breakers sent them down to the sixth seed in the Region VI Tournament, which begins Wednesday night.

The Greyhounds, Kansas City and Cowley all finished with 7-7 records against the region's Division I schools. Kansas City got the No. 4 seed as the only one of the three to beat division champion Coffeyville. Cowley then took the No. 5 seed as it split the season series with No. 3 Allen County while Fort Scott was swept by the Red Devils.

What this means is that Fort Scott will have to go to Barton County to play its first-round game. The Cougars, 24-6 overall, tied with Pratt for second in the Jayhawk Conference-Western Division -- all games in that division count toward seeding as every team is in Division I -- but lost a tie-breaker to the Beavers.

Should Fort Scott win Wednesday night -- which would be its first since the Region VI Tournament adopted the 16-team format -- it would play the winner of the Seward County-Independence game at 3 p.m. Sunday in a quarterfinal at Wichita State University.