Haskell Junior College does a decent impersonation, if only fleeting, of the Detroit Pistons.
The Indians did it briefly too briefly Tuesday night at Coffin Complex while dropping an 80-70 basketball decision to Fort Scott.
Down 20 points with 11 minutes remaining, Haskell rallied and appeared poised to overtake Fort Scott. The Indians crept to within five points, 73-68, with 3:30 left after trailing 65-45 at 11:00.
``I didn't see too many things I liked,'' Haskell coach Jesse Mendoza said, ``except the kids didn't quit. If they can learn to play as hard early in the game as they do late in the game, that may make the difference between winning and losing.''
THE TRIBE outscored Fort Scott 14-2 during one late stretch, with 6-7 sophomore Lance Primeaux scoring seven of his 14 points. Phil Glass, a 5-9 sophomore, led the Indians with 20 points, and Jamie St. Marks, a 6-2 sophomore, followed with 16.
``We told the kids to hang in there, if we could get it to 10 points, then it's a ballgame,'' Mendoza said. ``I thought they hung in there real well. I just think they wanted to win.''
And it looked as if it might happen when the Indians crept to within five on a three-pointer by Mark Lunderman with 3 minutes remaining.
``I thought our conditioning had a lot to do with it,'' Mendoza said. ``You can't do something like that if you're not in condition. And we turned our defense up a notch.''
Fort Scott's Fred Roach and Haskell's Primeaux traded a pair of free throws for a 75-70 Fort Scott lead at 1:58. But the Indians couldn't score again, and Fort Scott scored the final five points.
``LAST YEAR we only had seven players,'' Mendoza said. ``This year we have a few more people and a little more size, and we can do a few things we couldn't do last year.''
Fort Scott's Bryan Blackwell was the game's high scorer with 24 points. Blackwell hurt the Indians with six three-point baskets.
Haskell, 1-3, will host Cloud County on Friday night. Fort Scott improved to 2-0.