Bulldogs beat Westran 61-54; Lady Bulldogs win third place game against Paris, 40-37

The New Franklin Bulldogs basketball team captured its second tournament championship for the month of January by beating the Westran Hornets in the title game Friday night in the Sturgeon Tournament by a score of 61-54.
The Bulldogs, improving to 13-4 on the season, have now won back-to-back tournament titles after going almost 10 years prior without a tournament championship.
Commenting on the win over Westran, head coach Jim Schlotzhauer said the Bulldogs had a nice balanced performance. “Offensively we moved the ball well and hit big shots when we needed them,” Schlotzhauer said. “The game was a battle from start to finish. We are two very similar teams that will always make it close when we compete against one another.”
The first half was definitely that as the Bulldogs led Westran by two at 30-28. New Franklin and Westran also had a tight third quarter, with the Bulldogs clinging to a 39-36 lead after outscoring the Hornets 9-8. However, in the final period, New Franklin’s experience trumped Westran’s gritty outside play as the Bulldogs overpowered the Hornets with a 22-18 advantage for the victory.
As for the scoring in the game for New Franklin, Kaleb Anderton led four players in double figures for the Bulldogs with 18 points. Jake Hendrix and Ronnie Perkins each had 11 points while Blake Carleton added nine and Austin Jones and Jerrod Riley each with six.
Matt Edwards had the game-high for Westran with 25 points.
As for the New Franklin girls, they had a slow start against Westran while trailing 11-9 after first period’s end and 27-17 at the half. However, in the third quarter, the Lady Bulldogs buckled down defensively while outscoring Paris 10-4 to cut the lead to four at 31-27. Meanwhile, in the final period, New Franklin again held Paris to single digits while outscoring the Lady Coyotes 13-6 to win the game by three.
New Franklin coach Ryan Lyons for weeks they have been working hard in practice to improve their shooting (from inside and out), their free‐throw percentage, and their overall offensive execution as a team, but they continue to struggle on the offensive end of the court.
“Tonight was no different,” Lyons said. “Due to our offensive struggles, Paris was able to end the first half with a double‐digit lead. Up until this point in the season, our defense and toughness was responsible for most of our wins. At halftime, my assistant and I told the girls they needed to make three changes in the second half in order to come back: One, stop Heather Mitchell from hitting threes; two, match or exceed the toughness that Paris was playing with; and three, get back to what we do best…tough, gritty defense. The girls responded and accomplished these three goals. They held Mitchell to zero points in the second half, play with twice the intensity they did in the first half, and held a good Paris team to just 10 points in the entire second half. If we can every play great on both ends of the court, look out! I can’t wait to see the things these girls will accomplish as they mature and continue to grow in confidence on the offensive end.”
Molly Lyons and Cassie Armentrout tied for the team-high for New Franklin, who improved to 12-5 on the season, with 10 points. Lyons also finished the game with four steals, two rebounds and one assist while Armentrout added one rebound, one steal and one assist.
Madison Matney chipped in eight points, eight rebounds, one steal and one assist while Grace Hundley added six points, three rebounds and two steals, Kacie White with four points, four rebounds and one steal and Jasmine Himmelberg with two points, six rebounds and two steals.
The Lady Bulldogs also finished the game shooting 36 percent from the field and 30 percent from the foul line.
For Paris, Drew Lockhart had 10, Heather Mitchell nine and Abbie Whealan with six.