The New Franklin boys and girls freshmen basketball team advanced to the semifinal round of the CAC Tournament Monday night in Sturgeon.
While the Lady Bulldogs edged Sturgeon 25-23, the New Franklin boys had a little easier time while finishing 22 better than Cairo by a score of 38-16.
The New Franklin girls, 4-1 on the season, led Sturgeon 8-4 after first period’s end and 12-8 at the half. However, in the third quarter, Sturgeon rallied back with a 10-4 advantage to lead by two at 18-16. But that all changed in the final period as New Franklin rallied back with a 9-5 scoring edge for the victory.
New Franklin coach Chris McGowan said once again the girls struggled to handle Sturgeon’s press but were able to make just enough plays to win the game.
“The girls played with a lot of determination in the last four minutes of the game, and we were able to use that effort to finish the game in a positive way,” McGowan said. “We were down four with about four minutes to go, and then Teagan Cheshire got a couple of steals and a layup and free throw to get us back in it. Kacie White scored on a pass from Grace Hundley as time ran out to give us the victory in an exciting manner.”
Kacie White paced all scorers in the game for New Franklin with 12 points. Grace Hundley and Lilly Oser chipped in four points each while Tegan Chesire added three and Madison Matney two.
Sturgeon was led by Lauren Mills with 14.
As for the New Franklin boys, they played Cairo to a 12-12 tie at the half but then outscored the Bearcats 16-4 in the second half for the victory.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said the boys played a solid defensive game, especially in the second half. “In the first half we fouled too much, but we were playing hard,” Schlotzhauer said. “Later in the game, we put it all together.”
Austin Jones had 14 points to lead all scorers for New Franklin, 2-0. Bailey Lyons tossed in 11, Mason Bailey six, Zack Welbern, Brendan Hundley and Hunter Rohlfing each with two and Sid Hendrix with one.
In the boys B-team game, Sturgeon defeated New Franklin 44-14.
Sturgeon led 32-4 at the half and 38-8 after three quarters of play.
Schlotzhauer said Sturgeon played well on defense by getting out in the passing lanes and turning the Bulldogs over. “They had way too many looks in transition,” Schlotzhauer said. “I was pleased with our half-court defense, but most possessions were in transition.”