TOWANDA – The Circle Thunderbirds started slow but finished fast as they beat a tough Labette County 52-39 on Saturday at Circle High. 

Circle had been winless before getting the much needed victory over Labette.

“The outcome tonight is what we wanted which was a win,” Horyna said. “We had three pretty tough opponents and been fairly close, but we were finally able to get over the hump and get a win.”

A game of rebounds early in the first quarter as either team couldn’t buy a basket till the T-Birds started their run at 4-0 with 6 minutes left in the first quarter. The T-Birds would push the score in the first quarter, 13-4.

Circle’s first quarter lead started diminishing as Labette found their scoring ways early in the second quarter. A would be three point shot by Gunner Huston and Drew Middleton would give the T-Birds light. With Labette inching closer by the help of Nathan Smith scoring seven points in the second quarter, they would cut the lead to six points entering at the half, 22-16.

Labette try to get themselves back into the game, only down by five points with 4:34 left in the third quarter. The T-Birds would get the needed boost by Hutson as got to the free throw line only going 5-of-6 in the third quarter. 

Foul trouble would get the best of Labette as they given up over 10 plus fouls in the second half and that led Eli Jacobson, Huston and Matt Hromek to the free throw line as they all made 7-of-12 attempts in the fourth quarter.

“We talked about halftime that we needed to be more aggressive and work on getting the ballinside more, the guys responded and able to do that,” Head Coach Bo Horyna said

Fighting more in the paint would give the T-Birds the push they need as they finished off Labette County.

Both Drew Middleton and Hutson ended the night with 14 points giving the T-Birds the win over Labette.

“We were on the defensive end, got a lot of stops,” Middleton said. “We did better on ball defense and just getting rebounds and pushing it in the paint.”

Circle wraps up the fall semester with a tough games against Augusta at home on Tuesday at rival El Dorado on Friday. 

Labette County –  6; 12; 13; 10 – 39
Circle – 13; 19; 14; 16 – 52


Circle T-Birds - Middleton 14, Hutson 14, Jacobson 10
Labette County Grizzlies - Smith 19, Hestand 9, Falkenstien 6