Mustangs break into win column

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Charles Apt drives to the basket for the go-ahead points with 28 seconds left in Tuesday’s home game against Columbus High’s Titans. The Mustangs notched a 56-53 win in Southeast Kansas League play.

Iola High’s Mustangs came out of a timeout with 45 seconds left in Tuesday’s basketball game. The visiting Columbus High Titans had just hit two free throws to tie the game at 52-all.
“We ran our offense and out of that set, Charles (Apt) was open for the drive on the baseline. We got the ball to him and he took it strong to the hole and scored,” said Steve Taylor, Mustang head coach, following Iola’s 56-53 win over the Titans.
Seth Walden knocked the basketball out of the hand of Titan’s Matt Crain as Crain drove the lane. Drew Walden scooped up the loose basketball and gave it up to Michael Middleton.
The Mustangs had missed on four consecutive free throw attempts, leading by two with under two minutes left in the game.
“Michael hit the two big ones,” Taylor said. With 15.7 seconds on the game clock, Middleton sank both free throws as Crain, who led the Titans with 16 points, fouled out.
Joe Tillman downed one of two free throws for the final margin with 1.9 seconds on the clock.
It was the Mustangs’ first win of the 2009-2010 season. They are 1-2 overall and in Southeast Kansas League play.
Iola travels to Chanute for a SEK game Friday to wrap up first semester play.
“All night we’d get out to a 10-point or so lead and let Columbus back in the game. We’d throw the ball away, not get back on defense and they (the Titans) would take advantage of it,” Taylor said.
The Mustangs heated things up from long range against Columbus. Iola was 11 of 19, 58 percent, from three-point range. Overall, the Mustangs were 40 percent, 18 of 45, from the field.
In the first half, it was Middleton shooting over the Titans’ zone defense. He hit back-to-back treys in the second quarter to break a 15-15 tie and push Iola into the lead.
Earlier in the first quarter, tied 6-6, Drew Walden came off the Iola bench to hit from three-point range. Iola was down 13-9 when Apt and Middleton drained back-to-back treys for a 15-13 lead.
Lewis Kellogg got loose inside for the equalizing basket. So into the second quarter the teams went tied at 15-15.
Drew Walden delivered another trey at the 3:39 mark of the second period. Iola led 24-18. The lead had dwindled to two, 26-24, and Columbus had the basketball.
But an intentional foul was called on Crain, his third of the game. Middleton hit one of two free throws with 45 seconds left. It stayed at 27-24 at the break.
Columbus’ Jaden Tedlock scored right off the bat in the third quarter. Seth Walden drained two straight threes to push Iola up to a 33-26 lead.
The Titans got two baskets from Joe Tillman to close within three. Seth Walden hit another three followed by a field goal by Apt and a free throw by Middleton.
The Mustangs were up 39-30 heading into the final eight minutes of play. Iola stayed in front as Columbus charged at it.
Seth Walden fired in two more threes to give Iola a 51-41 advantage at the 4:48 mark.
Then it was the Titans’ turn. Tedlock had two threes with a basket by Crain in between. The margin was two points with four minutes remaining in the game.
Alec Peterson hit the front end of a one-and-one for Iola. Crain downed four free throws to knot the game at 52-all.
“We played defense well in the second and third quarters. We also got good minutes from the guys off the bench. All of them,” Taylor said.
“We still need to learn to win and what to do in crucial situations.”
Seth Walden finished with 19 points and Middleton had 15 points. Drew Walden pulled down six rebounds while Apt and Peterson each had five rebounds. Middleton had two steals.
Iola was 9 of 18 at the free throw line. The Mustangs had 16 turnovers.
Crain paced the Titans with 16 points followed by Tedlock with 15. Tillman had 11 and Kellogg added 10. The Titans were 11 of 17 at the line.
It was clean sweep of the games for the Mustangs. Iola won the junior varsity contest 51-21, led by Christian Kauth’s 11 points. Twelve Iola players scored two or more points.
Iola’s freshmen won 69-36. Mason Coons scored 20 points, followed by Tyler Clubine and Levi Ashmore with 18 points.
Iola (15-12-12-17—56) (FG/3-pt): Kauth 1-0-0-2, Toland 0-0-4-0, Taylor 0-0-1-0, D. Walden 1/2-0-2-8, S. Walden 2/5-0-1-19, Apt 2/1-2-2-9, Middleton 1/3-4-3-15, Peterson 0-3-3-3. TOTALS: 7/11-9-16-56.
Columbus (15-9-6-23—53) (FG/3-pt): Crain 2-6-5-16, Tedlock 2/3-0-3-15, Stanley 0/1-0-3-3, Tillman 5-1-2-11, Spear 0-0-2-0, Kellogg 3-4-5-10. TOTALS: 12/4-11-20-53.