The Fowler Goldbugs showed Friday night why they have been ranked as the top-team in Class 1A-Division I after dismantling the Kiowa County Mavericks 54-33 in a boys semifinal contest of the Southern Plains-Iroquois Activities Association tournament at United Wireless Arena.
Although the Goldbugs had a lull in the second quarter as the Mavericks had their only run of the game before halftime, the Fowler defense dominated for most of the game in claiming the victory.
"We just had a better plan coming into this game," said Fowler post player Jett Reese. "We know everybody is going to bring their best game against us, but we just have to be ready. We're not satisfied because we fell asleep a couple of times; but we're happy about how we defended them because they are a good offensive team."
Kiowa County had only five field goals in the second half as the Goldbugs (12-0) clamped down on the passing lanes for steals and turnovers. The Goldbugs extended a two-point halftime lead to as much as 23 in the second half.
"We have the ability to play great defense and rebound and that's what we stressed since I've started working with this team," said Fowler head coach Scott Brown. "This team just keeps rising to the occasion. They are a great group of kids."
Reese led Fowler in scoring with 19 points, while Tem Shetley and Joel Milford added 12 apiece for the Goldbugs. Rustin Audrey led Kiowa County (8-5) with eight points and Caleb Davis added seven in the loss.
The Goldbugs scored the first 11 points of the contest and didn't allow a field goal in the first quarter to build a 12-2 lead after the opening quarter; but the Mavericks came back in the second stanza to cut their margin to two points a couple of times and trailed Fowler 23-19 by intermission.
Fowler dominated with their defense again in the third quarter, not allowing a Kiowa County field goal for more than seven minutes on the way to building a xx-xx lead going into the final stanza.
Fowler will face South Gray in tonight's boys championship game at 8 p.m. Kiowa County will play Ashland in the third place game at 4 p.m. Both games will be at United Wireless Arena.
"We're going up against another tough team and South Gray is going to be tough," Brown said. "It's just going to be another tough game for us in this tournament. Hopefully, we can come out and play against South Gray like we did (against Kiowa County)."
KIOWA COUNTY (33) – Trever Powell 3, Caleb Davis 7, Rustin Ardery 8, Corbin VandenHoek 4, Damien Odle 6, Kendall Watson 5. Totals 13 4-6 33.
FOWLER (54) – Joel Milford 12, Taylin Bird 3, Tem Shetley 12, Dylan Duesing 2, Tyler Chambers 1, Ty Clark 5, Jett Reese 19. Totals 18 11-15 54.
Kiowa County21759 – 33
Fowler1291120 – 54
Three-point baskets – Kiowa County 3 (Watson 1, Powell 1, Davis 1), Fowler 7 (Milford 4, Bird 1, Shetley 2). Records – Kiowa County 8-5, Fowler 12-0.