New Franklin boys hold off Prairie Home for 46-43 victory

The Pilot Grove girls basketball team had the biggest surprise of the tournament yet on Thursday by knocking off top-seeded Sturgeon 40-39.
Although the Lady Tigers came into the tournament as the No. 4 seed, they will be the second highest seed left after Tipton upset No. 2 New Franklin in the other semifinal game 49-42.
As for other games on Thursday, No. 1 Fayette boys cruised past fifth-seeded Sweet Springs 66-36 while No. 2 New Franklin finished three better than Prairie Home 46-43.
As for the Lady Tigers, they scored just enough points in the end and hit two crucial free throws with 17 seconds left to pull off the upset against Sturgeon.
Pilot Grove, who improved to 8-3 on the season, also led 14-12 after first period’s end and 24-23 at the half before a run by the Lady Bulldogs in the third quarter to force a tie at 34-all. Meanwhile, in the fourth, the Lady Tigers outscored Sturgeon 6-5-two of which came in the final 17 seconds as junior Emily Schupp hit two free throws to seal the victory.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said Sturgeon came down and ran a set and got a eight foot floater off with about 5 seconds left and then got the offensive rebound and put it back up as the clock expired.
“It literally went off of one edge of the rim, started to go down and hit the other side of the rim and spinned out,” Daniel said. “This was a big win for the girls. We had what we thought was a pretty good game plan to give Sturgeon some trouble on offense and then we knew that we were going to have to hit some shots and execute on offense,” Daniel said. “While we should have probably made more of our shots in the paint and needed to cut down on turnovers, I thought our girls did a tremendous job in executing the game plan. Sturgeon made a run on us after halftime and we were struggling scoring and finally had three big three point baskets on almost three straight possessions that really helped us get the momentum back and finish in the second half. We also did much better at the free throw line, which was a major point of emphasis for us over the break, going 5 for 6 in the second half to seal the win for us. I’m very proud of our girls and ready to play a tough Tipton team in the Championship.”
In addition to hitting two big free throws, Schupp also led the Lady Tigers with a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards along with three assists and three steals.
Chloe Schlotzhauer finished the game with five points and 12 rebounds while Kaitlen Weekley added five points, three rebounds and two steals, Reagan Walker five points, five assists, five steals and one rebound, Melanie Wolfe three points and two rebounds, Aryn Lorenz three points and Abby Schupp with two assists, one rebound and one steal.
The Lady Tigers were also 9 of 13 from the foul line.
For Sturgeon, Lauren Mills had 10 and Emma Bright with nine.
As for the New Franklin girls, they also led Tipton at the midway point in the ballgame after a rocky start at 27-23. The Lady Bulldogs even held a 40-37 advantage going into the final period. However, in the fourth quarter, New Franklin managed just nine points while Tipton exploded for 25 to win the game by 13.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said even it was a loss in the scorebook, it was a great team effort.
“I thought the girls had tremendous heart and a lot of fight, especially when being down players,” Vetter said. I’m extremely proud and this group is getting better every day.”
Abby Backes had 23, Brooklyn Pace 16 and Tyanna Busch 11 for Tipton.
For New Franklin, who dropped to 4-6 on the season, Grace Hundley tossed in 20 points while Madison Matney added 19, Lilly Oser eight and Jordan Leighton with two.
The second best game of the night was also went down to the wire as New Franklin held off a fourth quarter rally by Prairie Home.
However up until the final eight minutes, the Bulldogs looked to be well on their way to another easy victory while leading 13-4 after one and 22-13 at the half. But in the third quarter, Prairie Home cut the lead to four (30-26) by outscoring New Franklin 13-8. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Panthers again outscored New Franklin 17-16 only to lose the game by three.
New Franklin coach Ross Dobson said his team didn’t play their best basketball.
“We were out of control at times, but give credit to Prairie Home and their defense that caused us to be out of control and they disrupted our offense,” Dobson said. “It was a battle all night long against a good Prairie Home team, but we were able to hit some key free throws down the stretch to hold off for a victory. I am proud that we were able to hang on to a close game. We have to come ready to play against a solid Fayette team that we’ve already played twice this season.”
Gavin Bishop had 15 points to lead all scorers for New Franklin, who improved to 7-3 on the season. Mason Bailey chipped in 10, Aden Jones eight, Bailey Lyons five, Tyler Perkins and Jackson Dorson three each and Kolby Anson with two.
New Franklin also hit 17 of 23 shots from the foul line.
As for Prairie Home, which dropped to 8-4 on the season, Creed Flood finished the game with 18 points, three rebounds and three steals.
Clayton Pethan chipped in 14 points, four rebounds and two assists while Kassen Lock added seven points, seven rebounds, one steal and one assist, Alex  Rhode four points, three rebounds and two steals and Luke Stewart with one rebound.
Prairie Home also hit on 8 of 15 shots from the charity stripe.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said the boys didn’t get off to a good start and that was the difference in the game. “We outscored them in the second half and forced 26 turnovers, we just couldn’t convert on the offensive end,” Armontrout said. “We missed two or three layups in the first quarter and couldn’t make shots late in the game. We played great defense. We were down, I was glad to see the guys fight their way back, I liked how patient we were on offense. New Franklin plays a great defense and we knew we were going to have to stay patient and we did, we just didn’t finish at the rim. Overall, I was proud of the effort and will look to get back in the win column on Saturday.”
As for Fayette, Blake Dawson had 28 points as the Falcons opened up a 36-17 lead at the half against Sweet Springs. Fayette also held a 30-19 advantage in the final two periods to win by 30.
Sweet Springs was led by Zach Malter with 13.