(Kenny Felt/Exclusive to the Tribune)
The Fort Scott High boys did.
By outrebounding the Grizzlies, forcing twice as many turnovers as they committed and allowing LCHS to shoot just 33 percent from the field, the Tigers (3-4 SEK, 6-9 overall) managed to "uglify" the game and came away with a 38-34 stunner in Southeast Kansas League play.
"We just relaxed and played," Fort Scott head coach Jeff DeLaTorre said. "We scrapped and battled.
"We told them at halftime that to win this game -- I don't even know if 'uglify' is a word -- but we had to 'uglify' the game. We had to make it ugly."
Thirty-eight points doesn't win a lot of games, even at the high-school level. But the Tigers have made "uglifying" work this season. They're 6-1 this season when they hold the opposition to less than 50 points.
"I thought we controlled the tempo," DeLaTorre said. "We took care of the ball when we needed to, way better than the last time we played them."
Labette County was missing leading scorer Dontae Johnson but the Tigers didn't take the Grizzlies lightly even with Johnson missing. They allowed only three players to score at all.
Zack Stewart led Labette County with 19 points -- he scored the Grizzlies' first 11 -- and Tucker Thompson added 9 points. Those two combined to make 12 of 28 field-goal attempts.
Fort Scott held the rest of the Grizzlies to a combined 1-of-12 from the field. Lee Reliford was the only other player who scored -- 6 points, 4 of those from the free-throw line.
Labette County (5-3, 11-3), which saw a four-game winning streak snapped, led 20-18 at the half. But the Tigers scored 9 of the first 11 of the second half. Chris Davenport had two stickbacks of teammate's misses during that run as part of his huge night on the boards. Jash Pytlowany also hit a 3-pointer in that run and Mason Knopp capped it with a medium-range jumper at the three-minute mark.
Thompson scored 5 in a row for LCHS to tie the score. Chase Brown hit a 3-pointer for Fort Scott with 1:05 to go. Stewart scored a layup to bring the Grizzlies within 30-29 as the period ended.
The back-and-fourth continued early in the fourth. Thompson scored first. Then Davenport cleaned up another miss to put the Tigers up 32-32.
Reliford scored his only field goal with 2:50 to go but missed a chance to convert it into a 3-point play. Johnathan Stark's layup with 2:26 to go put the Tigers back in front, 34-33.
Labette County had to foul three times to get Fort Scott into the one-and-one and the Tigers struggled to make their free throws, making just 2 of 5.
Stewart made the front end of a one-and-one with 13.9 seconds left to bring LCHS within 36-34. But he missed the second one and Davenport was fouled on his 10th rebound of the half. He made both charity shots to make it a two-possession game with 11.6 seconds to go.
Stark led the Tigers with 16 points while Davenport had 8 points and 13 rebounds. Fort Scott turned the ball over just 7 times while forcing 14 LCHS miscues and won the battle of the boards, 35-32.
The Tigers have a week off to prepare for an SEK battle against league-leading Coffeyville Friday night on the road. The Golden Tornado (7-1, 12-3) increased their lead to two games by downing Chanute, 62-36. Coffeyville hosts LCHS, which is now tied for second with Chanute, Tuesday night.
JUNIOR VARSITY -- Benjamin Labbe led the Tigers with 11 points in a 51-40 loss at the hands of Labette County.
LABETTE COUNTY: Buchanan 0-1 0-0 0, Dowty 0-4 0-0 0, Page 0-2 0-0 0, Reliford 1-3 4-5 6, Dodsworth 0-2 0-0 0, Thompson 4-12 0-0 9, Stewart 8-16 1-3 19. TOTALS: 13-40 5-8 34.
FORT SCOTT: DeLaTorre 0-7 0-0 0, Sather 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 1-2 0-0 3, Pytlowany 1-7 1-2 4, Fink 0-0 0-0 0, Stark 5-12 6-10 16, Sinn 0-4 1-2 1, Knopp 3-6 0-1 6, Davenport 3-6 2-4 8, Olin 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22-42 11-18 60.
Labette Co...... 9 11 9 5 -- 34
Fort Scott....... 12 6 12 8 -- 38
Three-point field goals: Labette County 3-15 (Stewart 2-2, Thompson 1-7, Buchanan 0-1, Page 0-1, Reliford 0-1, Dodsworth 0-1, Dowty 0-2), Fort Scott 2-18 (Brown 1-1, Pytlowany 1-5, Knopp 0-2, Stark 0-3).
Total fouls: Labette County 20, Fort Scott 12. Fouled out: Page, Dodsworth. Technical fouls: None
Rebounds: Labette County 32 (Stewart 12), Fort Scott 35 (Davenport 13). Assists: Labette County 3 (Dowty, Page, Reliford), Fort Scott 3 (Sinn 2). Turnovers: Labette County 14, Fort Scott 7. Steals: Labette County 3 (Stewart 2), Fort Scott 6 (DeLaTorre 2, Knopp 2). Blocked shots: Labette County 3 (Dowty, Thompson, Stewart), Fort Scott none.