The Columbus Unified High School Titan boys dropped another heart breaker to the Labette County Grizzlies Tuesday night at home. The now 1-6 Titans fell 80-71.
Columbus was down by only six at the end of the first quarter and after a 23-10 second period the Titans were up 35-28 at the end of the half.
The tables turned in the third period, however and the Grizzlies went on a series of scoring runs and notched a 28-18 quarter to finish the period up by three.
Columbus was never able to pull back within reach.
Labette Head Coach Brad Smith said it was a tough game for his team.
“They’ve played a lot of people awful tough,” Smith said of the Titans. “Any time you play in the SEK it’s tough at away games.”
Despite the record, Columbus Head Coach Kevin Brown said his team is much improved over last year, noting they were blown out twice by Labette County.
“We’ve improved so much this year,” Brown said. “We’re finally starting to get healthy again.”
Brown said teamwork has been important for his team — the Titans had four players in double figures — Matt Crain, who fouled out, and Taylor Spear both had 16, Joe Tillman had 11 and Colten Stanley finished with 10.
“It was a great ball game,” Brown said. “It was a lot of fun. We have some good talent, no doubt.
“We have up to eight players who are performing at a consistent level.”
Crain, who normally plays forward took over point guard duties for Tillman who had a sprained ankle, and Brown said that is part of the depth of skills his boys are beginning to show.
“Six or seven of those kids can play point guard,” Brown said. “The further we’ve gone into the year the more balanced our scoring has been.”
The Titans will face Independence tonight at Indy, and Brown says it will be a tough game.
“They’re a typical SEK team,” he said. “They play man to man most of the game.
“They’ll be aggressive and they’ll be intense and if you don’t watch that you’ll be in a lot of trouble.”
The girls’ game will start at 6 p.m. with the boys’ game to follow.