The New Franklin Lady Bulldogs basketball team had the perfect opening for its brand new gymnasium Tuesday night against the Fayette Falcons.
With the gym almost to full capacity, the Lady Bulldogs did it right by beating Fayette 49-18. As for the New Franklin boys, they will have to wait until their next home game after losing to the Falcons 48-39.
New Franklin girls basketball coach Morgan Vetter said she was happy  with their first win in the new gym.
“Everybody played well in doing the little things tonight,” Vetter said. “We worked inside out and took shots that we haven't taken before/with confidence in previous years. I thought our upper class-man rose to the occasion and I thought our younger players/new faces played with a lot of heart and discipline. We are excited to start the Glasgow Tournament next, on Tuesday against Marceline.”
Senior Madison Matney was also glad to start the season while finishing with a game-high 16 points and 19 rebounds. She also had two steals.
Of course Matney wasn’t the only player for New Franklin in double figures. Senior Grace Hundley finished the game with 11 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist. Madelyn Chaney chipped in eight points off the bench to go along with three rebounds and one steal. Shelby Breshears added seven points, four rebounds and three assists while Lilly Oser contributed five points, three rebounds, three steals and three assists, Lauren Evans two points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, Katelyn Griffin four rebounds, Kayce Hundley three rebounds, Jordan Leighton one rebound and one steal and Sydney Dowell with one assist.
 Although the Lady Bulldogs were perfect on the night, they still have a few things to work on between now at next week’s Glasgow Tournament such as shooting. While hitting only 19 of 54 shots from the field for 35 percent, New Franklin also struggled from the foul line by converting on 5 of 17 shots for 29 percent.
Needless to say, the Lady Bulldogs had little trouble with Fayette while scoring the game’s first nine points. New Franklin also led Fayette 12-3 after first period’s end and 29-11 at the half.
The second half was pretty much the same as the first half as New Franklin dominated Fayette right out of the gate and held a 15-6 advantage to extend the lead to 44-17. The Lady Bulldogs also scored the final 13 points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, after clearing the bench in the final period, New Franklin still managed to outscore Fayette 5-1.
Emma Hoover had the high game for Fayette with six points while Abbey Conrow chipped in five.
As for the New Franklin boys basketball team, they had a little tougher time against Fayette but only trailed by three at 42-39 with 1:21 left in the game.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they also faced an uphill battle against Fayette while trailing 17-9 after one. However, in the second quarter, New Franklin came out and reeled off seven unanswered points to cut the lead to one at 17-16. Then, after going up by one at 20-19 on a basket by senior Mason Bailey with 3:17 left, the Bulldogs saw Fayette’s athletic side as the Falcons stormed back with seven straight points to lead at the half 26-20.
The third quarter was also back and forth holding a 12-8 advantage to cut the lead to two at 34-32. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Bulldogs came out and took a two point lead at 36-34 after baskets by Aden Jones and Bailey with 6:14 left. However a 8-0 run over the next three minutes by Fayette put New Franklin behind the eight ball while trailing by six at 42-36 with 2:18 remaining.
The Bulldogs closed the game to within three at 42-39 on a three point play by Jones. However it was all Fayette after that as the Falcons scored the next six points for the victory.
New Franklin coach Ross Dowell said the Bulldogs lost a close game to a good basketball team,
“Coach Pallardy does a good job with those kids and they know how to compete,” Dobson said. “You could definitely tell it was our first game with committing 25+ turnovers.  If we want to beat good teams we will have to limit the turnovers to less than 15.  Was proud with the effort we gave all night. The boys didn’t stop competing until the buzzer went off. I am excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for us.”
Blake Dawson paced all scorers in the game for Fayette with 12 points. Kyle Schleeter chipped in nine.
For New Franklin, Mason Bailey tallied 15 points and seven rebounds. Bailey Lyons chipped in six points and five rebounds while Gavin Bishop added five points and four rebounds, Aden Jones five points and three rebounds, Tyler Perkins two points and five rebounds and Jackson Dorson, Carter Bailey and Kolby Anson each with two points.
The Bulldogs also finished the game shooting 39 percent from the field and 38 percent from the foul line.