FORT SCOTT — Labette upset No. 11 Fort Scott 76-68, Bryson Dennis scored 30 points for the Cardinals along the way and his team gained some late momentum in Kansas Jayhawk Conference play.
“Our guys came in and played with competitive energy,” Labette head coach Jerrod Stanford said. “They were playing with one another and having fun. It was a fun game, high intensity in a great environment. They had real, good fans here. It felt like a basketball game and it was fun to see.”
The upset win improved Labette’s record to 10-6 overall and 4-2 in KJCCC action, while the Greyhounds dropped to 10-5 and 3-3 respectively.
Dennis was the constant catalyst for the Cardinals. His 30 points came on a 9-of-16 shooting performance, including 4-of-7 on 3-pointers and 7-of-8 on free throws.
“Coach gave us a good plan and we executed it very well,” Dennis said. “I was just being aggressive trying to get to the hole and trying to make plays.”
Dennis also registered five steals and three assists to go along with his career-high scoring effort.
“He was ready tonight,” Stanford added. “He’s been battling some ankle injuries. The last two games he’s been healthy and he was locked in. The way Fort Scott plays, it can get ugly. But he dealt with it well.”
Dennis’ sophomore backcourt mate Ghage Kenan added 14 points, including 7-o-7 at the charity stripe, to go along with three assists.
Cardinals big man Mohamad Diallo shot 6-of-8 from the field for 13 points while blocking three shots. Diallo’s final points came on a lob dunk in the game’s final 90 seconds that put Labette up six points.
“He did a good job,” Stanford said. “We try to keep him active. His alley-oop late in the game was huge. It was a four-point game and we get that dunk. That allowed us to set up our defense and put them on their heels.”
The Greyhounds’ press caused issues for Labette as the Cardinals coughed up 24 turnovers.
“We forced 19 turnovers ourselves, so it almost balanced out,” Stanford said. “We played really good defense and we made 19 free throws when they shot 14. We made more shots. That’s how you overcome 24 turnovers.”
In addition to defending well, Labette was nearly unstoppable at the foul line as the Cardinals hit 19-of-21 attempts.
“They were pressing, so that opens up the floor in the halfcourt,” Stanford said. “We were strong with the ball and could make plays. There were swings and runs like crazy in this game.”
Labette heads north on Saturday to take on Kansas City Kansas.
“It’s going to be about taking care of the ball,” Stanford said. “They’ll shoot as many threes as we’ve seen all year. So we’ve got to be big, strong and make free throws. That’s basketball. We’ve got to make more shots, get more rebounds and take care of the ball.”
Labette 76, No. 11 Fort Scott 68
Labette: 38 38 — 76
Fort Scott: 29 39 — 68
Labette: Ghage Kenan 14, Bryson Dennis 30, Devin Longstreet 7, Mohamad Diallo 13, Jermond Mosley II 2, Daniel Jackson 8, Pierce Thomas 2