ALTAMONT — Prolific scoring nights from Javon Grant and Gavyn Elkamill pushed the Pittsburg Purple Dragons past the Labette County Grizzlies on Friday night by a score of 61-29 in SEK League action.
One of the area’s most feared duos combined for 46 points for Pittsburg, including 31 of the team’s 32 first half points.
“Javon just got hot there,” Labette County head coach Bradley Argabright said. “It’s not like they were just open threes. He was hitting contested shots. We’re an arm’s length away.
“Gavyn is so physical, and we just weren’t ready for that tonight. He was controlling the ball in the paint.”
Labette County, which was fresh off its first win of the season over Girard on Tuesday, was paced in scoring by Ethan Jameson who had 10 points.
“Since Christmas, we’ve been challenging him to be more aggressive on the offensive end,” Argabright said. “I still wasn’t completely pleased with his shot selection. But a shot is better than a turnover for us right now. We’ll keep challenging him.”
Labette County was without two of its starters — guard Luke Falkenstein and forward Trent Brock — in the lopsided loss.
“I thought we were on a high after Tuesday,” Argabright said. “But we’ve still got to be hungry. I told our team that it’s about the next man up. Missing our starters meant we didn’t have a lot of depth tonight. But that’s not an excuse.”
Pittsburg improved its record to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in SEK League play with the win, while Labette County dropped to 1-7 and 0-3 respectively.
The Grizzlies get their next shot at their first league win under first-year head coach Argabright on Tuesday at home as they host Coffeyville. Tuesday’s game will be the second of three in a row at home after a seven-game road trip.
“We’ve got to have a great practice on Monday and learn from this loss,” Argabright said. “We’ve got to have a great effort. Every night is a challenge in the SEK League. If we have the right effort, especially on defense, we’ll be all right.”
Pittsburg 61, Labette County 29
Labette County: 5 10 6 8 — 29
Pittsburg: 8 24 19 10 — 61
Labette County: Harrison Hall 2, Eli Hestand 2, Austin Jones 3, Zach Stalford 2, Ethan Jameson 10, Nathan Smith 6, John Redford 2, Jackson Gilpin 2
Pittsburg: Cooper Ratzlaff 6, Elijah Thornton 5, Javon Grant 21, Gavyn Elkamil 25, Malachi Gatewood 2, Austin McKechnie 2