The New Franklin boys and girls basketball teams picked up two bigs wins in the Central Activities Conference Monday night on the road by beating the Pilot Grove Tigers by the scores of 64-44 and 52-34, respectively.
For the Lady Bulldogs, who improved to 15-6 overall and 6-2 in the CAC, they led Pilot Grove from the first quarter on while taking a 31-9 lead in to the half. Of course the second half was much closer, with the Lady Tigers holding a 25-21 advantage only to lose the game by 18.
New Franklin coach Ryan Lyons said this was a very good win for the Lady Bulldogs. “It was a must conference victory, keeping us in the hunt for another CAC title, but best of all we shot over 50 percent from both two-point range and at the foul line. I said that when this happened, I’d be happy, and I am. My girls executed our offense well and shared the ball very unselfishly. We had 37 defensive rebounds, which means we usually only gave up one shot on the defensive end. My girls are extremely coachable and it showed tonight in a good victory over a good Pilot Grove team.”
Madison Matney led seven players in scoring in the game for New Franklin and also led the Lady Bulldogs with a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Matney also had two steals and one assist.
Grace Hundley finished the game with 14 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists while Jasmine Himmelberg added nine points, nine rebounds and four assists, Cassie Armentrout with three points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assists, Molly Lyons with three points, five steals, three rebounds and three assists, Kacie White with two points, four rebounds, one steal and one assist and Sydney Dowell with two points and one assist.
As for the Pilot Grove Lady Tigers, who dropped to 9-13 overall and 2-7 in the CAC, Reagan Walker was the only player in double figures with 10 points along with seven steals, three assists, one rebound and one blocked shot.
Cynthia Brumback finished the game with nine points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists while Allison Weekley added five points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists, Emily Schupp with two points, eight rebounds, one assist and one steal, Kylee Sprick and Marissa Day each with two points, one rebound and one steal, Melanie Wolfe with two points and one blocked shot, Chloe Schlotzhauer with one point and one steal, Aryn Lorenz with one point, Rachel Lorenz with two assists and one rebound, Celine Dodson with one assist and one steal and Kaitlen Weekley with one rebound.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said nothing seemed to go their way against New Franklin.
“We had a real slow start after New Franklin came out and got physical with us on defense and really messed with our timing and psyche when we had the ball,” Daniel said. “We struggled all night shooting and even when we got good looks it seemed like there was a lid on the basket and we couldn’t get anything to fall and once that happened it seemed like nobody wanted to score for us. As bad as the first half was for us, we came out in the second half with a goal to win that half, be more physical and aggressive on both ends of the floor and the girls did a much better job and did win the second half. We have to have a better start and look to move past this game and focus on the next one at Cairo on Friday.”
As for the New Franklin boys, they pretty much dominated the game against Pilot Grove while leading 21-13 after first period’s end which included the final eight points of the quarter. The Bulldogs also outscored the Tigers 16-10 in the second period to lead at the half by a score of 37-23. The second half was no different than the first as New Franklin came out and outscored Pilot Grove 27-21 for the victory.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said despite winning by 20 the Bulldogs played a fairly sloppy game against Pilot Grove. “Pilot Grove was mixing defenses on us, so we never really got into a good flow within our offense,” Schlotzhauer said. “We were a half step slow on closeouts and rotations on the defensive end as well. We shot the ball fairly well from the outside to spread the score, but that covered up a night of slow play for us.”
Jerrod Riley led three players in double figures for New Franklin with 15 points. Austin Jones and Jake Hendrix each had 12 points while Ronnie Perkins tallied nine, Kaleb Anderton six, Bailey Lyons five, Sid Hendrix four and Blake Carleton with one.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 10-12 overall and 3-6 in the CAC, Brady Rentel had 16 points. Regan Meisenheimer tossed in nine while Cole Mize added seven, Ben Glenn six, Steven Bell four and Anderson Twenter with two.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said New Franklin is a tough squad and the Tigers just gave them too many second chance points tonight.
“I thought our energy level was great, but we have to find a way to eliminate teams from getting offensive boards,” Skaggs said. “We will continue to build off of the energy level the kids showed tonight. We have a long travel Friday night against another conference opponent, Cairo. We need to close out winning two of the next three going into districts.”