The New Franklin boys junior high basketball team had the perfect start to the 2017 season last week in the Prairie Home Junior High Basketball Tournament.
After winning back to back games in the first-two rounds against Prairie Home and Pilot Grove, the Bulldogs made it 3 for 3 in the championship game on Saturday by beating Jamestown 46-27.
As for the girls championship game, Russellville upended Pilot Grove 47-40.
In other games in the tournament, the Prairie Home girls beat Bunceton Friday night in the consolation game 33-13 while the Russellville boys defeated Pilot Grove for third place 53-36. Meanwhile, on Saturday, the New Franklin B-team boys also won against Prairie Home in the consolation finals 22-21 while the New Franklin girls finished nine better than Jamestown 26-17 in the third place game.
The New Franklin A-team boys, 3-0 on the season, outscored Jamestown in three out of the four quarters of play and led 12-5 after one, 22-12 at the half and 38-14 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Jamestown outscored the Bulldogs 13-8.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said he was very pleased with the solid win they picked up against Jamestown. “We played well on both ends of the floor and in transition,” Schlotzhauer said. “This team is fun to watch when they bust their tails and share the ball the way that they do. Hopefully these wins build confidence that will help to bring more success for this group.”
Tre Cowans had the high game for New Franklin with 14 points. Tyler Jennings chipped in nine, Brett Boggs eight, Blake Evans and Sammy Marshall five each, Landon Belstle and Caleb Hull two each and Tiernan Hoover with one.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they were right in it against Russellville while trailing by just one (19-18) at the half and 34-32 after three quarters of play. However, in the final period, the Lady Indians pulled away with a 13-8 advantage to win the game by seven.
Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott said Russellville runs about 10 deep in their lineup and subs 3-5 girls at a time.
“This was full-court in your face defense every second of the game by both teams,” Scott said. “Both teams also ran up and down the court all game. I thought we played super with only seven players, but Russellville simply wore us down in the fourth quarter. We dominated the last two minutes but couldn’t hit the shots. Marci Lammers, Natalie Glenn and Grace Phillips also had huge games. Lammers’ defensive pressure, Phillips’ and Glenn’s scoring and physical play was key to our success.”
Mehrant had 14 and Paul 13 to lead all scorers for Russellville.
Pilot Grove was led by Grace Phillips with 17 points. Natalie Glenn tallied 11 points while Marci Lammers added five, Leah Vollrath three and Kaitlyn Maggard and Claire Roth each with two.
In the third place games, the New Franklin girls had a game on their hands while leading Jamestown by just one (12-11) at the break. The Lady Bulldogs then built up a 21-11 cushion in the third quarter with a 9-0 advantage only to have Jamestown rally back with a 6-5 scoring edge in the fourth.
New Franklin coach Chris McGowan said he was impressed with the intensity the girls played with throughout this game.
“We missed some good looks at the basket early in the game and struggled to rebound defensively, but the girls started to convert opportunities late in the second quarter and continued to play well in the third,” McGowan said. “We need to learn to show better composure at times and learn how to finish a game in a little better manner, but I was pleased to come away with a win.”
Carly Dorson paced all scorers in the game for New Franklin, who improved to 2-1 on the season, with 11 points. Abby Maupin knocked down six points while Justice Singleton added four, Faith Painter three and Addy Salmon with one.
Jamestown was led by Ginna Meisenheimer with nine points.

In the boys third place game, Russellville led Pilot Grove 26-18 at the half and then outscored the Tigers 27-18 in the final two periods for the victory.
Bryce Brant had 18 points and Charlie Miller 12 for Russellville.
For Pilot Grove, Isaiah Quick had 15, Bo Vinson nine, Tate Rentel six and Bryer Childress and Hank Zeller each with three.
In the girls consolation game, the Prairie Home Lady Panthers led Bunceton from start to finish while taking a 21-6 lead in to the half. Prairie Home also outscored the Lady Dragons 12-7 in the final two periods to win the game by 20.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said even though his team had beaten Bunceton twice already, it’s tough to beat a team three times in a year. “It was a game we needed to get back on track,” Armontrout said. “We still have things to work on, but we did some good things. We need to shoot free throws better. The one thing I liked was our turnovers, as we had only 12. You can definitely tell between a 12 turnover game and a 30 turnover game.”
Paiton Williams led the scoring attack in the game for Prairie Home, who improved to 6-4, with 12 points along with five rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Madison Brown finished the game with 10 points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists while Allison Simmons added seven points, eight rebounds, three steals and one assist, Kamden Holliday with two points, two steals, one rebound and one assist and Makayla Davis with two points and two rebounds.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 0-7 on the season, Laney Heilman had 10 points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist. Kylee Myers finished the game with two points, seven rebounds, one steal and one assist while Madison Davis added one point, two rebounds and one steal, Abby Cunningham with seven rebounds and Alexia Hein with five rebounds and two steals.
In the boys consolation game, New Franklin’s B-team trailed Prairie Home 9-7 after first period’s end before rallying back with a 15-12 advantage over the next-three periods.
Coach Schlotzhauer said the boys did a nice job of holding on for the win. “We had a lead going into the fourth and were able to hold on to win to bring home a consolation trophy,” Schlotzhauer said. “I’m very proud of the improvements the boys made throughout the week.”
Zac Vollrath had the game-high for New Franklin with 12 points. Nick Postak chipped in five while David Palmer and Gavin Eaton added two points and Matthew Overall with one.
For Prairie Home, Oliver Lock tossed in nine points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Tripp Kendrick finished the game with six points and five rebounds while Peyton Pitts added six points, two rebounds and two steals, Evan Rhorer with three rebounds and one assist, Dakota Kuester with one rebound and one steal and Logan Fairchild with one rebound.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said it came down to two things: shot selection and rebounding. “We took poor shots in the first half and did not rebound when we needed it,” Armontrout said. “This was probably our best game of the tournament. We just didn’t execute down the stretch.”