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Morning Sun
  • Labette Co. boys, girls stay in SEK lead group with sweep of PHS

  • The Labette County Grizzlies, ranked No. 9 in Class 4A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, caught up and passed the Pittsburg boys with a 11-0 run in the third quarter and eventually outscored Pittsburg 17-2 to gain a 46-40 lead en route to a 68-55 win Tuesday night.

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  • The Labette County Grizzlies, ranked No. 9 in Class 4A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, caught up and passed the Pittsburg boys with a 11-0 run in the third quarter and eventually outscored Pittsburg 17-2 to gain a 46-40 lead en route to a 68-55 win Tuesday night.
    “We played a good first half and I thought we started the second half well,” Pittsburg head coach Kiley Roelfs said. “We didn’t play well enough the second half, especially the last quarter and a half. The momentum changed.”
    Pittsburg enjoyed a 38-28 lead early in the second half, building on its 33-26 halftime advantage with five quick points by senior center Stefon Rich. For a long stretch, Pittsburg began missing shots and turning over the ball while Pittsburg could not stop a Labette County offensive explosion.
    Labette County senior guard Dontae Johnson caught fire — something that he already hinted at with a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer — and he singlehandedly scored nine consecutive points to get LCHS to 38-37.
    Johnson went on to score 20 of his game-high 33 points after halftime in seemingly every possible fashion — layups, tip-ins and long-range shots. No. 3 added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
    Additionally, fellow guard Lee Reliford scored all 10 of his points after halftime, picking up eight in the fourth quarter.
    Sophomore forward Zack Stewart finished with 15 points, 11 in the first half.
    “They’ve got a lot of guys who can go from 15 to 31,” Roelfs said. “They’re a good basketball team.”
    Pittsburg had four players finish in double figures and a fifth score nine points, all five players seniors.
    Senior guards Spencer Bernhardt and Kaleb Owens led the Purple Dragons with 11 points apiece. Bernhardt made all five of his free throw attempts and Owens nailed three 3-point shots.
    Senior guard Tanner Ellis added 10 points on a pair of 3-pointers, a field goal and a pair of free throws. Senior forward FeDor Lomax finished with a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Rich added nine points and 11 rebounds; his dunk gave Pittsburg a 9-8 lead and seemed to spark the Purple Dragons for the remainder of the first half.
    Pittsburg dropped to 4-3 overall, 1-3 in the Southeast Kansas League. Labette County moved to 7-1, 4-1 in the SEK.
    Labette County girls 45, Pittsburg 27
    Sometimes it seems like a certain team has another team’s number.
    For example, during the 28-game tenure of second year head coach Kim Peterson O’Bray, the Pittsburg girls own a 22-6 overall record and have wins against every team in the Southeast Kansas League except for one, the Labette County Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are now 3-0 against Pittsburg during that stretch and host the Purple Dragons later in the season.
    Page 2 of 2 - Trailing 16-7 after one quarter and 29-14 at halftime, Pittsburg sustained its best 8 minutes by outscoring Labette County 9-2 in the third quarter. Pittsburg forced eight turnovers and the Grizzlies did not score until Michaela O’Brien knocked a shot down late in the stanza.
    Senior forward Lizzy Willis continued the forward momentum for PHS with a basket for the first points of the fourth and 31-25 deficit. After that basket, it was nearly all Grizzlies to the tune of 14-2, an Alaura Short basket surrounded by 6-0 and 8-0 scoring runs.
    O’Brien led all scorers with 16 points and freshman point guard Erica Gartner added 11, nine scored on 3-point shots. Her last 3 gave Labette County a 39-25 advantage. Aubri Kimbrough added nine points and five rebounds.
    Short led Pittsburg with 10 points, her point total helped out by a 4-5 night shooting free throws, as well as six rebounds. Willis added nine points, as the rest of the Dragon attack combined for eight.
    Pittsburg, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, dropped its first game after five straight wins to open the season. Labette County improved to 6-2 overall, 5-0 in the SEK and with a Fort Scott win over Chanute (37-35 on a late putback), the Grizzlies now own sole possession of first place.
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