Beats Cairo 51-43; New Franklin boys win 66-51

The New Franklin Lady Bulldogs basketball team took over sole possession of first place in the Central Activities Conference last night by beating the Cairo Lady Bearcats by a score of 51-43.
The Lady Bulldogs, improving to 14-10 overall and 7-2 in the CAC, maintained a 1/2 game lead of the next closest teams in the conference.
New Franklin coach Ryan Lyons said if the Lady Bulldogs beat Madison on Thursday they will be the CAC champions.
“Tonight’s win against Cairo for me was the sweetest one of the year,” Lyons said. “My girls came out ready to play from the get-go on both ends of the court. Again we scored double digits every quarter and really clamped down on the defensive end, especially in the second half by holding Cairo to eight points in each of the last-two quarters of play. We did a good job of contesting three-pointers and made sure that no one got hot from the outside. I am very excited about this possibility and proud of my girls for the team they have become. We have more room for improvement and will hopefully do just that as we approach the postseason.”
While scoring in double digits every quarter, the Lady Bulldogs also led Cairo from start to finish while taking a 30-27 lead at the half and a 41-35 advantage after three quarters of play. New Franklin also held a 10-8 scoring edge in the final period.
As for the scoring in the game, senior Madi Lyons, who recently surpassed the 1,000th point mark in her career, led the Lady Bulldogs with 26 points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Aislinn Himmelberg tallied 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals while Molly Lyons added six points, four rebounds, three steals and one assist, Cassie Armentrout with three points and one rebound, Jasmine Himmelberg with two points, three rebounds and two assists, Madi Matney with two points, three rebounds and one assist and Grace Hundley with two points.
The Lady Bulldogs also finished the game shooting 49 percent from the field and 38 percent from the foul line.
For Cairo, Jill Nelson was the only player in double figures with 11 points.
As for the New Franklin boys, they had a little easier time while beating the Bearcats by 15, 66-51.
The Bulldogs, improving to 17-7 overall and 7-2 in the CAC, opened the first half with a 35-29 lead against Cairo and then outscored the Bearcats 31-22 in the second half.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said his team wasn’t as sharp as he would have liked tonight.
“Defensively we let the ball in the lane way too many times off of the drive and offensive rebounds,” Schlotzhauer said. “We moved the ball well on the offensive end for the most part, but still played a bit selfishly at times. It’s coming down to the time of the year where you see what teams are really made of. We need to make it our goal to improve every time we step on the court as we head into elimination games.”
Tanner White led three players in double figures for New Franklin with 22 points.
Jacob Hendrix chipped in 12 while Blake Carleton added 11, Ronnie Perkins with nine and Jerrod Riley and Kaleb Anderton each with six.
For Cairo, Clabe Reed tossed in 20 points.
The New Franklin boys and girls basketball teams will closeout the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 19th at home against the Madison Panthers starting at 6 p.m.
The Class 2 District 7 Tournament will begin on Monday, Feb. 23rd for the girls at Salisbury High School.