If Fort Scott Community College's women did nothing else Saturday night, they neutralized a tie-breaker with Labette in the Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division standings when the Greyhounds beat the visiting Cardinals, 65-57, Saturday afternoon at Arnold Arena.
The 'Hounds trailed the Cards at the half by 12 points and the deficit grew to 14 points with just under 14 minutes to go. But from that point on, Fort Scott outscored Labette 33-12 as Jolie Sharp scored 11 points and Kerenza Singletary scored 9 of her season-high 15 during the run.
Singletary may have played her best game of the season as she made 8 of 14 shots from the field and hauled down 15 rebounds, 11 in the second half.
Last Saturday in a 59-55 loss to Coffeyville, Singletary had only one point and 6 boards. She came into the Labette game averaging 3.6 points and 5.4 rebounds on the season.
"It's a total 180 from last game," Fort Scott head coach Diana Couch said. "She didn't show up too well last time (but) she's become a consistent player. And when she doesn't do those little things for us, it really hurts. I honestly didn't realize she was playing that well during the game. I just looked at it, "Kerenza's playing well and I'm excited for her'."
Fort Scott's victory gave it a season split with Labette, which won the first game at Parsons January 5, 57-54. If they tie for a playoff position, the tie-breaker goes to the second step, which is comparing how the tied teams finished versus other Division I teams in the conference, starting with the top seed and going down.
Both teams are 4-7 in the East and 7-16 overall. Because games against Johnson County and Highland, the conference's Division II schools, don't count in Region VI Tournament seeding, Labette is only a half-game ahead of Fort Scott for the fifth seed at 3-5. That, in turn is 1 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the No. 4 seed, which gets a first-round home game.
Labette jumped out to an 18-5 lead early as Freddie Sims, the third leading scorer in the conference, scored 10 of her team's points.
The lead was 24-10 after 12 1/2 minutes of play. Fort Scott went on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 12 and they were able to keep it that close the rest of the half, 35-23.
Sims scored each of her team's first 10 points of the half as the lead grew to 45-31 after she hit a 3-point shot from the top of the key with 13:56 remaining.
Then suddenly, the game completely reversed itself. The 'Hounds, who were outshot, outrebounded and committed more turnovers to that point, suddenly started making shots, grabbing boards and holding on to the ball.
The 'Hounds ripped off 11 straight points during a run that included Singletary's first 3-point goal of the season with Brittany Crow's triple making cutting the deficit to 45-42 with 11:01 to go.
Sims kept scoring but no other Cardinals were helping. She made it 51-45 on a jumper with 8:19 to go. But Crow hit a 16-footer and Singletary scored a layup off a feed from Sharp to get the 'Hounds closer. Kendra Mattox tied the score with a pair of free throws with 6:37 left.
Raven Taylor put the Cards ahead with a 3-point shot moments later. But Mattox gave Fort Scott its first lead, 58-56, with a 3-point goal with three minutes to go.
In the last 4 1/2 minutes of play, Labette managed to score just 1 point. Sharp's stickback with 2:15 to go made it 60-57. Then she made four free throws in the final 51 seconds.
Singletary's 17 points led the 'Hounds with Sharp adding 15, Mattox 11 and Crow 10. Sharp also had 6 assists and 7 steals.
Sims finished with 29 points on 12-of-25 field-goal shooting and put in 17 points in the second half. Taylor scored the Cards' other 5 second-half points and that was it. The rest of the Cardinals combined to go 0 for 12 from the field in the second half.
Fort Scott went 9 for 28 from the field in the first half, 3 of 8 at the free-throw line and has just 19 rebounds. Labette was 13 of 27 from the field in the first half, 5 of 14 at the charity stripe and had 24 rebounds.
But in the second half, the Greyhounds made 13 of 35 fielders while holding the Cards to 9 of 34. Fort Scott also made 10 of 15 free throws while Labette made only 2 of 8. And, the critical point, according to Couch, they outboarded the Cardinals 32-22.
"We had to outrebound Labette to beat them and we outrebounded them," Couch said.
Both teams played make-up games Monday. Fort Scott traveled to Johnson County while Labette visited Neosho County. Wednesday, Neosho County comes to Fort Scott for a 5:30 p.m. contest. The Panthers, who defeated Highland 67-64 in overtime Saturday, are tied for eighth in the East (2-9, 4-19) with Highland (2-9, 4-19) but a half-game ahead of Allen County (1-10 conf., 1-8 seeding, 3-19 overall) for the No. 7 seed in regionals.
NOTES -- Fort Scott's 51 rebounds were 13 over its season average coming into the game...
Singletary had only attempted two 3-point field-goal shots coming into the contest. Briana Bonaparte also made a 3-pointer, which was her first of the season on 9 attempts....
Fans who want to look at the actual Region VI seedings can do so on the standings page at the Jayhawk Conference's website, www.kjccc.org. To get there, click on "Standings" beneath the "2010-2011 Women's & Men's Basketball" header on the top right of the home page. The full conference standings appear at the top of the page. The Region VI seedings are shown right underneath them,
The top four seeds from each division host first-round games versus a corresponding lower seed from the opposite division in the first round....
LABETTE: Sims 12-25 2-7 29, Wellman 2-4 0-0 5, Taylor 4-11 1-2 11, Emerson 1-11 0-0 2, Ellis 0-1 2-8 2, Tucker 1-2 0-0 2, Danner 2-5 2-2 6, Robinson 0-2 0-3 0. TOTALS: 22-61 7-22 57.
FORT SCOTT: Crow 3-10 2-2 10, Young 0-3 0-0 0, Sharp 4-8 7-9 15, Singletary 8-14 0-0 17, Mattox 3-10 2-2 11, Carter 0-4 0-2 0, Baker 3-11 1-4 7, Bonaparte 1-3 1-4 4. TOTALS: 22-63 13-23 64.
Halftime: Labette, 35-23.
Three-point field goals: Labette 6-24 (Sims 3-11, Taylor 2-4, Wellman 1-3, Ellis 0-1, Robinson 0-1, Emerson 0-4), Fort Scott 7-22 (Mattox 3-8, Crow 2-7, Singletary 1-1, Bonaparte 1-1, Young 0-1, Sharp 0-1, Baker 0-3).
Total fouls: Labette 22, Fort Scott 16. Fouled out: Taylor, Danner. Technical foul: Fort Scott coach Couch.
Rebounds: Labette 46 (Ellis 8), Fort Scott 51 (Singletary 15). Assists: Labette 8 (Emerson 3), Fort Scott 15 (Sharp 6). Turnovers: Labette 22, Fort Scott 19. Steals: Labette 9 (Sims 3, Taylor 3), Fort Scott 12 (Sharp 7). Blocked shots: Labette 5 (5 with 1 each), Fort Scott 1 (Sharp).