No. 7 LCHS boys pull away in second half

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Fort Scott senior Jessie Lawrence, seen here driving between two Columbus defenders Friday night, led the Tigers with 10 points in Tuesday night’s 57-45 loss to Labette County in Southeast Kansas League play.
Scott Nuzum/Tribune

It was a nearly-even game in the first half at Fort Scott High School’s main gymnasium Tuesday night with Fort Scott’s boys trailing No. 7-ranked Labette County at halftime by just 2 points.

But the Grizzlies’ scorers got going in the second half and LCHS went on to a 57-45 victory in Southeast Kansas League play in the last game before the holiday break for both teams.

“Their scorers got going there in the third quarter,” Fort Scott head coach Jeff DeLaTorre said. “I felt like, offensively, we never got in any kind of rhythm. We had spurts. You have to hand it to them a little bit. They have good athletes and they caused a lot of that.”

The Tigers (1-1 SEK, 2-4 overall) led 10-9 after one period as Matt Campbell hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with two seconds left. Labette County (3-0, 5-1) took the lead back when Javon Reliford scored a triple to start the second quarter and Tanner Russell scored on a jumper.

C.J. Horton tied the score at 14-14 with 4:11 left when he scored in transition off a Jesse Jones assist. A little more than a minute later, he gave the Tigers a 17-16 lead by converting a 3-point play.

Alex Nibarger drove for the go-ahead basket for the Grizzlies seconds later and Reliford hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 21-17. Jessie Lawrence brought the Tigers back within a point when he scored a jumper with 1:32 to go, creating what held up as the halftime margin, 21-19.

Easton Dean drove for Labette’s first score of the second half and Reliford followed up with a transition basket, giving the Grizzlies a little bit of cushion. They later went on a 7-2 run with Russell’s 3-pointer making it 36-27 with 2:54 to go.

Down 38-29 to start the fourth, Jordan Hall scored for the Tigers to start the final stanza. After drives by Grant Goldston and Jones, the Tigers were back within 42-35 with 5:06 to go.

“I’m proud that we kept battling and gave ourselves a chance,” DeLaTorre said. “We just could never really get over the hump. I’m proud of how we continued to work and continued to fight.”

Labette County started working the clock and the Tigers had to begin fouling to save time. Although the Grizzlies didn’t score a field goal after the 3 1/2-minute mark, they were able to make 11 of 14 free throws in the final 2:23.

Reliford and Dean both had double-doubles for LCHS. Reliford finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Dean had 15 points and 16 boards. Russell added another 10 points. Lawrence was the only Tiger in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

Both teams shot 38 percent from the floor. But Labette County made 15 of 21 free throws to just 2 of 5 for Fort Scott and won the battle of the boards, 38-31.

JUNIOR VARSITY — Nick King led the Tigers with 15 points while Goldston added 13 as the JV took a 60-44 victory.

FRESHMEN — Tiger freshmen won 35-23 over Labette County as Gavyn Pytlowany scored 16 points and Teagan Southwell chipped in with 10.

All Tiger teams are idle until Friday, Jan. 5 when they go to Pittsburg. The varsity game will be an SEK contest.

LABETTE COUNTY: Walters 0-2 0-0 0, Reliford 6-13 9-9 23, Anderson 0-3 1-4 1, Russell 3-8 3-4 10, Nibarger 2-3 0-1 4, Moore 1-4 2-2 4, Dean 7-17 0-1 15. TOTALS: 19-50 15-21 57.

FORT SCOTT: J.Lawrence 5-12 0-1 10, Jones 4-15 0-0 9, N.Lawrence 1-6 0-1 2, Michaud 2-5 0-0 5, Campbell 1-5 0-0 3, Horton 2-3 2-3 6, Goldston 1-2 0-0 2, Hall 4-5 0-0 8. TOTALS: 20-53 2-5 45.

Labette County........ 9 12 17 19 — 57

Fort Scott................... 10 9 10 16 — 45

Three-point field goals: Labette County 4-12 (Reliford 2-5, Dean 1-3, Russell 1-4), Fort Scott 3-16 (Campbell 1-1, Michaud 1-3, Jones 1-8, Goldston 0-1, J.Lawrence 0-3).

Total fouls: Labette County 12, Fort Scott 18. Fouled out: J.Lawrence.

Rebounds: Labette County 38 (Dean 16, Reliford 10), Fort Scott 31 (Michaud 5, Hall 5). Assists: Labette County 2 (Anderson, Russell), Fort Scott 7 (Jones 3). Turnovers: Labette County 7, Fort Scott 10. Steals: Labette County 3 (Anderson 2), Fort Scott 2 (J.Lawrence, Jones). Blocked shots: Labette County 3 (Dean 2), Fort Scott 3 (Hall 3).