New Franklin boys surge past Pilot Grove with strong second half for a 64-39 victory

Fresh off their first place finish in the New  Franklin Invitational Tournament over the weekend, the Pilot Grove girls basketball team knew a return trip Tuesday against the Lady Bulldogs would be a daunting task.
As it turned out, the Lady Tigers survived a fourth quarter rally by New Franklin for a 48-47 victory.
As for the New Franklin boys, they had an unbelieveable second half against the Tigers while exploding for 37 points for a 64-39 win.
The Lady Tigers, improving to 10-3 overall and 2-2 in the CAC, trailed after the first 16 minutes of the ballgame against New Franklin by a score of 26-20 before rallying back with a big third quarter to go up by three at 37-34. And even though New Franklin outscored Pilot Grove again in the final period 13-11, it wasn’t enough to overtake the Lady Tigers in a one-point ballgame.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said the girls really had to grind this one out.
“New Franklin tried to take out Reagan (Walker) and Emily (Schupp) of our offensive production so we had to have some other girls step up and hit some shots and take care of the basketball,” Daniel said. “We struggled with this in the first half but came out with some adjustments in the second half that put us in a better position to take advantage of our strengths and the girls executed well. It’s always a great achievement to win on the road in the CAC and I’m very proud of our girls not giving up and sticking together, even when we were all frustrated, and getting this win together.”
Emily Schupp still managed to get a double-double in the game for Pilot Grove with 17 points and 14 rebounds despite being double teams at times. She also finished the game with a team-high six steals and had one assist and one blocked shot.
Reagan Walker tallied nine points, two steals, one rebound and one assist for the Lady Tigers while Kaitlen Weekley added eight points, six rebounds and two steals, Melanie Wolfe eight points, three rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot, Abby Schupp four points, six rebounds and one assist, Aryn Lorenz two points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal, Chloe Schlotzhauer four rebounds and one assist and Reagan McFatrich with one assist.
As for the New Franklin Lady Bulldogs, head coach Morgan Vetter said the girls mentally stuck with the game even when losing another starter early in the contest. “The game came right down to the wire,” Vetter said. “Though we lost, the girls did their job and stayed poised throughout. On Friday we will meet Sturgeon again.”
Senior Madison Matney led all scorers for New Franklin, who dropped to 4-7 overall and 1-3 in the CAC, with 27 points. Lilly Oser chipped in 13 while Madelyn Chaney added five and Lauren Evans with two.
As for the New Franklin boys, they trailed Pilot Grove 18-15 after first period’s end before rallying back with a 12-6 advantage in the second to lead by three (27-24) at the break. The second half was all New Franklin as the Bulldogs outscored Pilot Grove 37-15 for the victory.
New Franklin coach Ross Dobson said the boys weren’t ready to play in the first half.
“Our focus and effort was lacking and Pilot Grove came to play,” Dobson said. “We allowed them to penetrate too deep on offense which led to them hitting shots. They boys regathered at halftime and we played a lot better on the defensive end, but we still fouled way too much.”
Bailey Lyons had 23 points to lead all scorers for New Franklin, who improved to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the CAC. Carter Bailey tossed in 14 while Tyler Perkins added 11, Gavin Bishop nine, Mason Bailey five and Aden Jones with two.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said he thought the boys came out and played a great first half. “We were consistent on both sides offensively and defensively,” Skaggs said. “In the second half we came out flat and had some major defensive breakdowns letting Carter hit four threes in the third quarter, which provided them confidence and separation. At the end of the day we have to get more scoring production out of some of our other starters. We have a big night coming up with Homecoming Friday night. We will compete against Glasgow and have to come locked in.”
Cole Meisenheimer paced all scorers for Pilot Grove, who dropped to 1-12 overall and 0-4 in the CAC, with 19 points. Bailey Quint chipped in eight while Gavin Shepherd added five, Anderson Twenter three and Lucas Fahrendorf and Donnavan Gerke each with two.