Fayette boys upend New Franklin for the championship, 56-49

It’s been a long time coming for the Pilot Grove Lady Tigers basketball team when it comes to the New Franklin Invitational Tournament.
On Saturday, the Lady Tigers ended years of frustration by capturing their first title in the tournament since 1979 by beating Tipton in the championship game in convincing fashion 48-38.
As for the boys championship game, the Fayette Falcons took down New Franklin for the third time this season by a score of 56-49.
The Lady Tigers, improving to 9-3 on the season, never trailed in the game against Tipton and led 14-7 after one and 25-17 at the half. Pilot Grove also held the Cardinals to just one field goal in the first quarter, which came at the 1:19 mark. Meanwhile, in the second quarter, the Lady Tigers led by as much as 11 points after a basket by senior Reagan Walker at the 4:25 mark to extend the lead to 23-12.
The third quarter was no different than the first as Pilot Grove outscored Tipton 13-8, which included a 6-2 run over the final two minutes and 43 seconds.
Leading 38-25 after three, the Lady Tigers pushed the lead to as much as 16 (41-25) after Walker hit 1 of 2 free throws with 6:49 left. However over the next six minutes, Tipton was able to cut the lead to nine on two different occasions before losing the game by 10.
The Lady Cardinals held a 13-10 advantage in the fourth.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said he is unbelievably proud of the girls and the effort they gave against Tipton.
“We again executed a game plan and really took Tipton out of their game and put pressure on some of their role players to have to hit shots to beat us,” Daniel said. “Our offense looked really good for most of the day with girls hitting each other but also looking for their own shot and creating offense off of the dribble. Reagan Walker had a really big game for us by playing great defense and take care of the ball on offense as our point guard. But really every girl did their job and that is pretty evident in the stat line with really everyone contributing. We still haven’t played our best basketball yet either and need to cut down on turnovers but this has been a great week for us to build on and very excited about this group and their potential.”
Emily Schupp, who had the two big free throws against Sturgeon in the semifinal round, had another big games on Saturday with 19 points along with seven rebounds and one steal.
Reagan Walker finished the game with 14 points, seven rebounds, seven steals and four assists while Chloe Schlotzhauer added seven points, eight rebounds, three assists and one steal, Kaitlen Weekley three points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, Melanie Wolfe three points, three rebounds and one blocked shot and Abby Schupp two points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist.
For Tipton, Abby Backes had 20 points.
Fayette (B) 56
New Franklin 49
The Fayette boys basketball team lived up to the billing as the No. 1 seed in the annual New Franklin Invitational Tournament.
Playing New Franklin for the third time this season, the Falcons overcame a sluggish start to beat the Bulldogs for the title by a score of 56-49.
The Bulldogs dropped to 7-4 with the loss.
New Franklin coach Ross Dobson said the boys weren’t ready to play in the first half. “Our focus and effort was lacking and Fayette came to play,” Dobson said. “The boys regathered at halftime and we played a lot better in the second half. We quit turning the ball over and started playing our game. I am proud that they never quit playing and worked their tails off in the second half.”
Although New Franklin trailed at the end of each quarter as Fayette led 14-10 after one, 31-19 at the break and 46-30 after three, they were still able to make up some ground in the fourth by cutting the lead to five at 52-47 thanks to a 8-0 run. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they were unable to get closer as Fayette pulled away at the free throw line late.
The Bulldogs also turned up the pressure in the fourth quarter by forcing 11 turnovers while hitting on 5 of 11 shots from the field.
As for the scoring in the game for Fayette, Vince Roberts led three players in double figures with 20 points. Blake Dawson chipped in 12 while Kyle Schleeter added 10.
For New Franklin, Tyler Perkins had 14, Bailey Lyons 13, Mason Bailey 10, Gavin Bishop seven, Aden Jones three and Carter Bailey with two.
In the two third place games on Saturday, the Sturgeon girls defeated New Franklin 40-32 while the Sweet Springs boys upended Prairie Home 63-55.
The Lady Bulldogs, dropping to 4-7 on the season, trailed Sturgeon 20-16 at the half and 32-26 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the fourth, Sturgeon outscored New Franklin 8-6.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said overall she was happy with the girl’s performance this week. “We had two tough losses, but I saw more heart and grit in those two games alone,” Vetter said.
Grace Hundley had 14 points to lead all scorers for New Franklin. Lily Oser chipped in eight while Madison Matney added five, Sydney Dowell three and Lauren Evans with two.
Johnna Burris had the game high for Sturgeon with 16 points.
As for the Prairie Home boys, they trailed Sweet Springs 31-20 at the half before rallying in the final-two periods with a 35-32 advantage to cut the lead back to eight.
Creed Flood had 28 points, 11 rebounds and two steals for Prairie Home, who dropped to 8-5.
Kassen Lock finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists while Clayton Pethan added five points and five rebounds, Alex Rhode four points, three rebounds and two steals, Sage Eichenburch three points and Blake Petsel with two rebounds.
Zack Griffin had 30 points for Sweet Springs while Zack Malter tossed in 24.