Mustangs fall short in upset bid

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Iola High’s Mustangs gave fourth-ranked Field Kindley High’s Golden Tornado all it could handle for one half. The Mustangs were full-speed ahead against the visitors from Coffeyville.
The Mustangs led for most of the first half — nine of 16 minutes. The ’Nado boys were able to gain a 25-24 halftime lead.
When the two teams returned to the court after the break, both pushed down on the gas pedal. The Mustangs spurted and the Golden Tornado took off.
Coffeyville used a 17-7 run in the third quarter to pull away for a 62-49 win. The ’Nado boys left with their perfect record, 6-0, intact and still standing atop the Southeast Kansas League.
“Most definitely, this was another step in the right direction. Our kids came out with a lot of energy, more than I anticipated after playing Thursday night,” said Steve Taylor, Mustang head coach.
“Unfortunately we came out cold in the third quarter and we were in foul trouble.”
Coffeyville cashed in on 25 of 41 free throw attempts compared to 7 of 14 for Iola. The Mustangs shot 44 percent, 19 of 43, from the field.
Coffeyville’s Ethan Cordray drilled a trey to start the game. Kent Toland answered with a baseline jumper.
It was 4-2 when Michael Middleton ripped the net for a three to put Iola on top with 6:28 left in the period. Coffeyville rattled of six unanswered to regain the lead.
Seth Walden and Charles Apt downed back-to-back field goals for the Mustangs. A three by Seth Walden tied the game at 12-12.
Two free throws by Alec Peterson put Iola up 14-12. Middleton’s steal and layup handed Iola a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Drew Walden, who came off the bench to pull six rebounds and dish out three assists, had a putback to open the second period. Iola was up 21-18 when Coffeyville knotted it again.
Seth Walden, who led the Mustangs with 14 points, connected for a 23-21 lead. James Walton of Coffeyville had a tying basket.
Peterson sank one of two free throws at the 1:08 mark. Cordray put his team back up with two free throws.
Iola’s final lead of the game came at the 5:52 mark of the third quarter. Middleton hit a deep three for a 29-28 advantage.
Coffeyville had a 14-point surge and led 42-31 after three periods. Iola cut the deficit to nine twice in the fourth but no closer.
“Our guys proved to themselves that we can contend with the top teams in the league if we do the things we need to do, offensively and defensively,” Taylor said.
Toland scored 10 points. Middleton had eight points and three steals.
Coffeyville was led by Cameron Craig with 15 points and Cordray with 14. Zach Mitchell scored all 13 of his points in the second half.
Coffeyville won the junior varsity game 45-19. Jerrik Sigg scored six for Iola.
In the freshman game, Coffeyville notched a 68-42 victory. Levi Ashmore had 14 points.
Iola dropped to 2-5 in the SEK and 3-5 overall.
The Mustangs travel to Burlington for the Burlington High Invitational next week. They play Burlington in the opening round Tuesday.
Iola (16-8-7-18—49) (FG/3-pt): Browning 0-0-1-0, Cl. Heffern 0-0-1-0, Ch. Heffern 0-0-2-0, Toland 4-2-4-10, Kauth 2-1-3-5, D. Walden 1-0-1-2 S. Walden 3/2-2-3-14, Apt 3-0-2-6, Middleton 1/2-0-4-8, Peterson 1-2-3-4. TOTALS: 15/4-7-24-49.
Coffeyville (12-13-17-20—62) (FG/3-pt): 0-1-1-1, King 0-0-1-0, Walton 4-1-0-9, Hobbs 1-3-1-5, Mitchell 4-5-3-13, Craig 3-9-5-15, Meyer 2-0-3-4, Cordray 3/1-5-4-14, Nelson 0-1-0-1. TOTALS: 17/1-25-18-62.