TOWANDA, Kan.—Day two of the T-Bird Classic saw the host team Circle taking on Wichita Independent.
Despite all the turnovers in the game, the Circle girls started off the night with a 58-26 win over the Lady Panthers. In the first quarter alone between the two teams were 21 turnovers combined between the two teams, 11 by Circle and 10 by Independent. Circle after one period was ahead 10-7 despite all the turnovers. Neither team had a lead of three or more points in the first quarter.
Circle went on a 5-0 and 11-0 runs in the third quarter to essentially put the game out of reach. The two runs helped make the score 35-16 with just under two and a half minutes to play in the third. Independent went nearly an entire quarter of the game without scoring a single point.
“We started out struggling, but we came out striking in the second half,” Circle Coach Brian Henry said. “It was a team effort, but we had players step up.”
Circle was led in scoring by Katelynn Wilson with 14 points. Independent was led by Alise Coccetella with 13 points.
Circle (1-0) will play its second game in the T-Bird Classic on Friday against Mulvane.
“We need to watch the turnovers, we cannot turn the ball over 35 times and beat Mulvane,” Henry said.
Independent (0-2) will play its second game in the T-Bird Classic on Thursday against Douglass. Douglass defeated Independent 43-37 last Friday.
Circle boys take game No. 2
Game two of the doubleheader was not as one-sided as the girls’ game; as Independent used a solid second quarter to beat Circle 73-57. It was the first game for Circle head coach Jason Stucky. Stucky who had previous coaching experience at Andover that was controversial. He replaced long-time coach Burt Helmer.
For the duration of the opening quarter neither squad could get a lead of more than three points and it was tied at 17 after the first quarter. An 18-5 run in the second quarter spelled trouble for the Thunderbirds as it put them down 41-26 at halftime.
Circle showed some life in the third quarter as it cut the deficit, but was still down 54-40 after three quarters of play. Circle got back within nine with just under five minutes to play with a few three pointers, but Independent answered and increased its lead the rest of the way out for the win. Just 17 seconds later Independent increased the lead back to 12 after a 3-pointer of their own and increased their lead en route to the victory.
“We are real explosive, but we are fun to watch,” Independent Coach Rob Fields said. “We took care of the ball tonight.”
Circle (0-1) will play their second game in the T-Bird Classic on Friday against Mulvane. Independent (2-0) will face Douglass for the second time in less than a week. Independent defeated Douglass 73-39 last Friday.
Brice Dean led the way for the Panthers with 16 points and Michael Kay also added 14 points. Circle was led in scoring by Jake Smith with 14 points and Dominic Lara added 12 points.