After closing out the regular

season with a big road

win over Class 5A Pittsburg

last Friday, the Independence

High School boys grabbed

the No. 5 seed for Sub-State

and hosted fellow Southeast

Kansas League opponent Ft.

Scott on Wednesday, March

4. Following an abysmal fi rst

quarter and trailing by double

digits heading into the fourth

quarter, the Bulldogs fi nally

found an offensive rhythm

down the stretch to complete

the comeback and pick up the

51-40 victory.

“As bad as those fi rst three

quarters were, it was just the

opposite in the fourth,” ‘Dogs

Head Coach Marcus Lanning

detailed after the win. “The

last seven minutes, we were

able to execute what we needed

to do..we tried to execute in

practice better this week, but

honestly, Monday and Tuesday

our execution was terrible

and we changed some stuff up.

It showed the fi rst three quarters

that we weren’t ready..we

had open shots early and we

didn’t knock them down.”

IHS senior guard Jaden

McGrath led all scorers with

20 points — 16 of which came

in the crucial fourth quarter

run — while senior forward

TJ Turner added nine and

fellow seniors Davion Lewis

and Amauryon Farley scored

seven apiece in the winning

effort. Overall, the Bulldogs

were 19-22 at the free throw

line, compared to a 6-15 clip

by the visitors. Indy went 17-

18 at the charity stripe in

the fi nal eight minutes alone,

which proved to be the difference

in the contest.

Both squads struggled offensively

in the early going, as

Indy managed just one fi eld

goal and Ft. Scott hit a couple

of three-pointers and a free

throw to take a 7-2 lead at the

end of the fi rst. The second

stanza was a slight improvement,

with the Tigers outscoring

their hosts 10-9 to go into

intermission up 16-11.

Ft. Scott opened the second

half on a 5-0 run to build a

double digit lead and forced

a quick Bulldogs timeout

with 6:29 in the third period.

The Tigers kept IHS at bay

throughout the quarter and

were ahead 28-18 after three

complete. That’s when Indy

rediscovered their offense,

exploding for a 33-point quarter

while Ft. Scott managed

12 points. The ‘Dogs took

their fi rst lead of the night

as McGrath hit a three to

pull within two, then on the

ensuing possession, Turner

grabbed an offensive rebound,

scored the put back and completed

the old-fashioned threepoint

play to put the home

team ahead 36-34 with 3:47 to

play. With just under a minute

remaining, Indy used some

clutch free throw shooting to

seal the win: senior Brayden

Coller made four straight and

junior Jaxon Paige went 5-6

down the stretch to wrap up

the 51-40 fi nal.

“We’ve been focusing..we

were 6-15 last Friday against

Pittsburg and we’ve gotta be

better than that. They did a lot

better this time, so I was very

pleased,” Lanning added.

The Bulldogs (14-7) advance

to the Sub-State semifi nals at

No. 4 seed Ottawa this Saturday,

March 7 at 6:00 p.m. and

are just one win away from

punching their ticket to the

Class 4A State Tournament in

Salina next week.