(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
The Tigers (2-2 SEK, 6-11 overall) broke a two-game losing streak by holding the Fillies to 2-of-12 field-goal shooting in the final four minutes. A few free throws for good measure in the last minute helped Fort Scott's cause.
"Our goal was to hold the No. 5 girl and the No. 10 girl," Fort Scott head coach Jeff Armstrong said. "They're a couple of the better players in our league."
No 5 is Kelsey Larson, who Armstrong regards as one of the SEK's best point guards. She was held to 6 points on 2-of-10 field-goal shooting. No. 10 is Kendra Taiclet, who made just 3-of-9 fielders and finished with 8 points.
Iola head coach Becky Carlson decided to have her offense work the clock at the start of the fourth quarter even though her team entered the period trailing by 7 points -- and would be down 8 after Mallory Shelton made 1 of 2 free throws with 4:49 to go. The Fillies (2-2, 6-10) finally scored on a Lawson field goal with 4:02 left in the game.
Fort Scott countered Iola's strategy by working the clock itself. Even as time wound down under four minutes and the Fillies had committed 6 team fouls, Iola was working for steals instead of fouling.
By the time Iola fouled Katren Rienbolt -- who made both free throws with 3:03 left to make the score 26-18 -- it was clear the strategy wasn't going to work. Fort Scott would be able to run the clock out at the rate things were going.
That's when Iola finally began to shoot the ball. But Brianne Lawrence took an outlet pass from Maddi Allen to add two more points to the Tiger side with 2:07 to go.
Taiclet scored for the Fillies with 1:50 left. But Rienbolt found Shelton for an easy transition layup with 1:27 left to make it 30-20. Then Fort Scott made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 1:03 when the Mustangs finally began to foul.
There were no double-figure scorers in the game. Shelton and Lawrence scored 9 points each as they combined to make 7 of 13 field-goal tries. Rienbolt followed with 8 points.
Fort Scott shot 36 percent from the floor, making 12 of 33 field-goal attempts, while also going 11 for 17 at the free-throw line. Iola shot just 24 percent from the field on 9 of 37.
The Tigers outrebounded Iola 28-22 as Lawrence hauled down 8 boards. Each team committed just 10 turnovers. Allen handed out 3 assists and Hannah Tourtillott had all 3 Fort Scott steals.
Iola scored 7 of the first 9 points of the contest and led 7-4 after one period. But Sidney Maycumber sparked a 6-0 run late in the second. Heather Karleskint's stickback of a teammate's miss put the Tigers up 12-10 and Rienbolt converted one of Tourtillott's steals into a basket to finish the run. Hannah Endicott made 1 of 2 free throws with three seconds to go to bring Iola within 14-11 at the break.
Larson scored the first basket of the second half. But the Tigers scored 8 of the next 9 with a Lawrence basket on a fast break made it 22-14 with 2:32 left in the third.
The Tigers won a game without anyone scoring in double digits for the first time since beating Parsons, 40-39, on Feb. 18, 2008, when Elizabeth Meech made a late shot to give Fort Scott the win. She and Afton Gray led Fort Scott that night with 8 points each.
The Tigers will be idle until Friday night when they travel to Columbus for another league contest. Fort Scott has won its last 13 meetings with the Titans.
JUNIOR VARSITY -- Ericah Shoemaker's 20 points led the Tiger JV to a 40-20 win over Iola. Maycumber added 10 points for Fort Scott, which led 17-8 at halftime.
IOLA: Larson 2-10 2-2 6, Taiclet 3-9 1-2 8, Toney 2-3 0-1 4, Shay 1-3 1-2 3, Endicott 0-0 1-2 1, McFadden 1-5 0-0 2, Adams 0-6 0-0 0. TOTALS: 9-37 5-9 24.
FORT SCOTT: Tourtillott 0-4 2-2 2, Shoemaker 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-3 0-0 0, Rienbolt 2-6 4-4 8, Shelton 3-6 3-4 9, Sd.Maycumber 2-5 1-3 5, Karleskint 1-1 2-2 2, Lattimer 0-0 0-0 0, Lawrence 4-7 1-2 9. TOTALS: 12-33 11-17 35.
Iola.......... 7 4 5 8 -- 24
Fort Scott.... 4 10 9 12 -- 35
Three-point field goals: Iola 1-12 (Taiclet 1-3, Toney 0-1, McFadden 0-1, Adams 0-3, Larson 0-4), Fort Scott 0-5 (Rienbolt 0-1, Tourtilott 0-2, Allen 0-2).
Total fouls: Iola 14, Fort Scott 15. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.
Rebounds: Iola 22 (Larson 8, Taiclet 8), Fort Scott 28 (Lawrence 8). Assists: Iola 4 (Toney 2), Fort Scott 7 (Allen 3). Turnovers: Iola 10, Fort Scott 10. Steals: Iola 7 (Toney 3), Fort Scott 3 (Tourtillott 3). Blocked shots: Iola none, Fort Scott 1 (Lattimer).