PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg High School basketball teams split a pair of home games against Fort Scott on Friday, with the girls’ team losing 54-44 and the boys winning 79-40.

PHS BOYS COAST TO BIG WIN OVER TIGERS

The Purple Dragons boys’ team followed up the loss for PHS in game one of the night with a 79-40 win in game two.

It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Purple Dragons, as they jumped out to an early lead and never looking back en route to coasting to the win.

“I was very pleased with our selflessness, our ability to defend well and move the basketball,” PHS head coach Kiley Roelfs said. “I thought we played well on both and we had a lot of guys get on the floor and play hard. It wasn’t just our five starters, we had a lot of contributors tonight. I think that was the closest performance to matching our full potential. Hopefully, we can learn from that because playing that way gives us the best chance to win.”

The Purple Dragons took control right from the opening tip, as they drew first blood on a jumper by Marque English before going up 15-4 on the strength of a 13-2 run which included six points by Chase Curtis.

A 3-pointer by the Tigers to end the first quarter narrowed their deficit to 11 heading into the second, but 14-4 run by the Purple Dragons lifted them to a 50-27 advantage at the half.

The run was highlighted by a 3-pointer from Drew Roelfs and included four points from English.

Pittsburg didn’t let up in the second half, holding Fort Scott to eight points in the third quarter and five points in the fourth to earn the win.

English was the leading scorer for PHS in the win with 26 points, while his teammates Gavyn Elkamil and Curtis posted 13 and 12 points respectively.

TIGERS GET BEST OF PHS GIRLS

The Pittsburg girls’ team didn’t have the same luck in game one of the night, losing 54-44.

PHS fell behind early before rallying back to tie the score in the second quarter, but couldn’t keep up the pace in the second half.

Fort Scott came out of the gates strong to claim an 8-5 lead in the first quarter and went on to make it 13-9 in the opening minutes of the second.

A pair of buckets by Zoe Pinamonti and Abbie Casper evened the score at 13-apiece, but an 8-2 run by the Tigers to give them an 21-15 advantage with two minutes remaining in the first half.

Fort Scott went on to stretch it to a 10-point lead on the strength of six consecutive points to begin the third quarter.

PHS responded with seven consecutive points of its own — with three coming from Madden Petty — to come back to within three points of tying it up at 27-24.

Fort Scott went on to outscore Pittsburg 14-1 in the final five minutes of the third quarter and held onto the double-digit lead in the fourth to claim the win.

Kaitlin Kidd finished as the leading scorer for PHS with 12 points in the loss.

UP NEXT

The Purple Dragons will be in Labette County at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

 — Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at jbuckamneer@morningsun.net and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.