Mustangs beat Titans on second-half surge

Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Chad Rourk (23) blocks a shot by Columbus High’s Justin Rogers (00) in an earlier meeting of the two teams this season. Iola decked Columbus 69-56 Monday at Columbus.

COLUMBUS — Shooting 49 percent from the field, hitting as many free throws as their opponent attempted, winning the battle on the boards — everything went the Iola High Mustangs’ way Monday night.
That included the final score. Two months after it was originally scheduled, Iola defeated host Columbus High’s Titans 69-56.
The victory put Iola at 3-10 in Southeast Kansas League play and 3-14 overall.
The Mustangs and Titans played just a week ago in Iola and the Mustangs were embarrassed with only scoring seven points in the first half. They lost by three.
“We came out more focused and played with a purpose Monday,” said Steve Taylor, Mustang head coach.
“We moved the ball better against their zone defense and handled their press.”
Another factor was that the Mustangs pounded the basketball inside and seniors Chad Rourk and Trent Jacobs delivered. They both had double-doubles.
Rourk poured in 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Jacobs scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds plus dished out five assists.
The Mustangs also had an outside game. Junior Seth Walden, who had 27 points in the first meeting of the teams, ripped the nets for 22, which included four three-point field goals.
Iola found itself down 15-6 in the first quarter. Keagan Luttrell came off the bench and hit a three-pointer then Walden drilled a trey to make it 15-13.
Columbus carried a 17-13 lead into the second quarter. Down 20-13, Walden hit a trey and a basket to move the Mustangs within two.
The Titans pushed back out to a 24-18 lead. Jacobs finished a run by the Mustangs with a follow shot that tied the game at 28-28.
Matt Crain hit a three-pointer to break the tie for Columbus. The Titans were up 33-30 at halftime
“Our guys got the ball into our post players. And offensively, we really did a good job all night. In the fourth quarter, our defensive intensity picked up and we got them tired,” Taylor said of the Iola second-half surge.
Columbus maintained its lead through four minutes of the third quarter, leading 44-36. Walden struck for a three-pointer to get things kick-started.
It was a field goal by Walden that handed the Mustangs a 45-44 lead. They never trailed again. Walden’s three put Iola up 50-48 but Joe Tillman tied the game.
“We lost control of the basketball and in the scramble at the end of the third quarter, Keagan dived for the ball. He went sliding and threw the ball up to Chad. Chad scored a layup,” Taylor said.
That play out the Mustangs in front 52-50 going into the fourth quarter. It also ignited a 17-6 run by Iola through the final eight minutes.
The Mustangs outscored the Titans 10-2 to begin the fourth quarter never allowing them back in the game.
Iola was 24 of 49 from the field for 49 percent. The Mustangs cashed in on 16 of 27 free throw attempts. They had a 40-to-34 edge in rebounding.
Keagan Luttrell and Michael Middleton each had two steals. Iola had only 11 turnovers.
Crain paced the Titans (1-12, 3-14) with 16 points. Tillman added 14 and Jaden Tedlock chipped in with 10 points.
Columbus was 21 of 58, 36 percent, from the field and went 9 of 16 at the line.
The Mustangs are idle tonight. They host Fort Scott (9-4, 10-7) Friday.
Iola swept the Titans in junior varsity and freshman games Monday.
The Mustang junior varsity won 56-49 led by Drew Walden’s 21 points. Ryan Latta added 17 points.
Jerrik Sigg led the Iola freshmen to a 65-49 win. Christian Kauth tossed in 20 points and D. Walden had 11 points.
Iola (13-17-22-17—69) (FG/3-pt): Kea. Luttrell 0/1-0-0-3, Rourk 7-4-1-18, Toland 3-0-0-6, Jacobs 4-6-4-14, S. Walden 4/4-2-0-22, Cook 0-0-3-0, Middleton 0-4-3-4, Peterson 1-0-4-2. TOTALS: 19/5-16-15-69.
Columbus (17-16-17-6—56) (FG/3-pt): Rogers 1-1-3-3, Crain 5/2-0-3-16, Tedlock 1/2-2-4-10, Lucian 2/1-0-3-7, Grant 0-0-1-0, Tillman 6-2-1-14, Spear 0-2-2-2, Schoech 0-2-1-2, Kellogg 1-0-3-2. TOTALS: 16/5-9-20-56.