Independence Community College women’s season-opening victory over 13th nationally ranked Northern Oklahoma-Enid Saturday had a strong Iola flavor.
Leslie Crane, a 1982 graduate of Iola High, coached her first game for the Lady Pirates and Kelsey Larson, 2012 Iola High grad, was Independence’s second leading scorer with 18 points, after missing last season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Larson also had 12 rebounds.
Sabrina Berry, ICC’s only returnee, led the way with 31 points and 18 rebounds.
“Kelsey has worked non-stop to get to this point. She’s really come along. She was so excited to play tonight. She did a great job,” Crane told the Independence Reporter.
CRANE, WHOSE father, Neil, coached at Allen Community College in the 1970s and ’80s, has 24 years of coaching experience at the high school.
She has coached more than 300 victories and has tutored four former Olympians.
From 1998 through 2011 she was head coach at Western Illinois University. Before going to Western Illinois, Crane worked as assistant coach at the University of Missouri and prior to that she coached at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
She was a standout for the Iola Fillies while in high school.
A PAIR OF AREA football standouts also recently completed their freshman campaigns at Fort Scott Community College.
Kyle Hammond, a four-year star on the football field and basketball court at Crest, was the second-leading rusher for the Greyhounds, with 481 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 5.7 yards per rush.
Hammond also caught three passes for 33 yards.
Iola High product Stephen McDonald appeared in five games for the Greyhounds and had three unassisted tackles.
Fort Scott went 2-7 on the season.