No. 1 Sturgeon girls and Fayette boys cruise in opening round

With eight games in a span of six hours Tuesday night in the opening of the 89th annual New Franklin Invitational Tournament, what we learned is that No. 1 seeded Sturgeon girls and Fayette boys will be hard to knock off after winning by more than 20 in the first round.
The Prairie Home boys also proved that they will be around for the long haul after knocking off No. 3 Sturgeon 48-42.
As for the games on Tuesday, the No. 1 Sturgeon girls beat No. 8 Westran 49-23 while the No. 1 Fayette boys upended Pilot Grove 68-40.
Other winners on the night had No. 2 New Franklin girls winning 56-46 over Fayette, No. 2 New Franklin boys prevailing 53-34 over Tipton, No. 4 Pilot Grove girls finishing seven better than Sweet Springs 38-31, No. 4 Sweet Springs boys over Westran 51-49 and No. 3 Tipton girls over Prairie Home 65-49.
Tournament action will continue tonight with four games at the new and old gym. In the new gym, Tipton boys will take on Sturgeon at 6 p.m., followed by Fayette girls versus Prairie Home at 7:30. Meanwhile, in the old gym, Westran girls will play Sweet Springs at 6 p.m., followed by Pilot Grove boys versus Westran at 7:30.
As for the No. 1 seeds in the tournament, Emma Bright and Lauren Mills each had 13 for Sturgeon, who led Westran 25-13 at the half.
Mady Denslow tossed in six for Westran.
As for the Fayette boys, they led Pilot Grove 39-20 at the break and 59-34 after three quarters of play.
Blake Dawson had 21 and Vince Roberts 12 for Fayette.
For Pilot Grove, Gavin Shepherd tossed in 13 while Lucas Fahrendorf added 11, Cole Meisenheimer seven, Bailey Quint four, Donnavan Gerke three and Dorsan Hern with two.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said he knew it would be a tough game as they only have one loss, but in the end the boys just have to score more. “Just like I told the boys, we have a chance to bounce back and pick ourselves up,” Skaggs said.
As for the only upset on the night, the Prairie Home boys outlasted Sturgeon with a 16-10 run in the final period. However prior to the fourth quarter, the Panthers trailed the Bulldogs 13-11 after one only to rally back with a 13-11 advantage in the second period to tie the game at 24 at the half. Both teams then put in eight points in the final period.
Senior Creed Flood finished the game with a double-double for Prairie Home, who improved to 8-3, with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Flood also had four steals and four assists.
Kassen Lock chipped in eight points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist while Clayton Pethan added four points, six rebounds and three assists, Alex Rhode four points and four rebounds, Blake Petsel four points, two assists and one rebound, Luke Stewart two rebounds and one steal and Ty Stidham with one rebound.
Stone had the team high for Sturgeon with 18 points.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said a lot better ballgame.
“First game back for Christmas break and we played like we should,” Armontrout said. “Could be a bit better but we got a win. Losing before break leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. I thought our defense was pretty good for the most part. We held Stone to 18, which I believe is below his average, but every shot he hit, it was contested. We have to do a better job at closing out games. We were up eight and they came back and hit two threes in a row. Offensively, I thought we were patient on offense. A couple of times we tried to force, but a lot of the time, we were patient and got a good shot. We just didn’t finish. Overall, I am proud of the effort and look forward to playing New Franklin on Thursday.”
As for the New Franklin boys, they had a little easier time while leading Tipton from start to finish.
The Bulldogs, improving to 6-3 on the season, opened the first half with a 34-10 lead against Tipton but were outscored 24-19 in the second half by the Cardinals.
Tyler Perkins and Mason Bailey each had 12 points in the game for New Franklin. Bailey Lyons tossed in 11 while Aden Jones and Carter Bailey added five points each, Gavin Bishop and Jackson Dorson three each and Crayton Gallatin with two.
For Tipton, Kodie Dick had 13 points.
New Franklin coach Ross Dobson said he was proud of the effort the boys brought after not having played since December 14th. “We had balance scoring throughout the night and moved the ball really well against their zone,” Dobson said. “Our defensive effort was there in the first half with only holding them to 10 points for the first half, but it fell off towards the second half. We will need to bring good effort and focus on Thursday against a good Prairie Home team.”
As for the New Franklin girls, they also led Fayette from the opening tip and took a 34-20 lead into the half. However, in the second half, the Lady Falcons outscored New Franklin 26-22 to cut the lead back to 10.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said this was a great team win and a win that they needed coming back from break. “We had individuals step up and stay poised all the way to the end,” Vetter said. “Defensively, they executed what we wanted to do and offensively they made the simple pass for good looks. We are looking forward to a tough matchup against Tipton on Thursday.”
Senior Madison Matney had 20 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Lady Bulldogs, who improved to 4-5 on the season. Matney also dished out three assists in the game.
Lauren Evans finished the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds and a team-leading six assists while Grace Hundley added 14 points, three steals, three assists and two rebounds, Madelyn Chaney six points, two rebounds and two steals, Campbell Cooper one rebound and one assist, Sydney Dowell one rebound and Lilly Oser with one assist.
For Fayette, Abbey Conrow had 20 and Sam Conrow 12.
The Pilot Grove girls also had their hands full against Sweet Springs while leading by only three (19-16) at the break. The Lady Tigers outscored the Greyhounds 19-15 in the second half.
Junior Emily Schupp led Pilot Grove, who improved to 7-3 on the season, with 17 points along with seven  rebounds and two steals.
Chloe Schlotzhauer finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and three steals while Reagan Walker added six points, seven assists, five steals and one rebound, Melanie Wolfe five points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, Natalie Rentel two points, two rebounds and one steal, Kaitlen Weekley seven rebounds and three steals, Abby Schupp three rebounds and two steals and Aryn Lorenz and Reagan McFatrich each with one rebound and one steal.
For Sweet Springs, Sydney Vaught had 15 points.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said it’s always great to come out of a two week break and pick up a win. “We started out pretty slow, though, letting Sweet Springs jump out to a 7-0 lead in the first-two minutes but we battled back and the girls never quit all night even when we struggled at times on the offensive side of the ball. We sometimes look to set other girls up for what we think are better shots while giving up what could be a better shot or scoring opportunity. We look to get a good day’s practice in and get prepared to play a quality Sturgeon team.”
As for the Prairie Home girls, they trailed Tipton from the first quarter on as the Lady Cardinals led 32-19 at the half and 51-33 after three quarters of play.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said the first game after Christmas break and it was sloppy.
“Both teams were,” Armontrout said. “We were still in there after halftime. We kept chipping away and kept getting close, we just couldn’t get consecutive stops on defense. I thought offensively we settled for jump shots too much when we could have driven the ball to the basket. I was really impressed with the way Kelsey Watson played tonight. She played hard and got rebounds. Overall, if you look at our scoring, it’s very balanced. We have to do a better job on the defensive end and not give up 43 offensive rebounds.”
Abbey Backs had 32 and Brooklyn Pace 18 for Tipton.
For Prairie Home, who dropped to 4-6 on the season, Kourtney Kendrick led three players in double figures with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Kelsey Watson had 11 points, four rebounds, one steal and one assist while Maggie Wood added 10 points and three rebounds, Jerzee Cantrell nine points and three rebounds and Ashlyn Twenter three points and four rebounds.