New Franklin will play Adrian in Class 1 sectional game at Clinton on Wednesday, March 1st at 7:45 p.m.
After escaping with a two-point victory in the semifinal round against Sedalia Sacred Heart last Wednesday in the Class 2 District 14 Tournament at Smithton, the New Franklin Lady Bulldogs basketball team expected pretty much the same on Saturday against Sweet Springs in the championship game.
As the only higher seeded team left in the tournament after Sweet Springs knocked off No. 1 Tipton, the Lady Bulldogs came out and left little doubt while leading the Greyhounds from start to finish for a 52-38 victory.
New Franklin, 20-8 on the season, will advance to the sectional round of the state playoffs on Wednesday, March 1st at Clinton High School, where they will play 27-1 Adrian starting at 7:45 p.m.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said everybody contributed and the intensity was there. “We are extremely happy with their performance this week and it paid off with a district title,” Vetter said. “We look to play again on Wednesday against a talented Adrian team. We look forward to the competitive Sweet 16 of play.”
The Lady Bulldogs, a Final Four team in 2015-16, will have a tough road ahead of them with Adrian on Wednesday and then possibly Santa Fe, who is also 27-1, in the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 4th at Liberty High School.
But first things first. In the game against Sweet Springs, the Lady Bulldogs looked to be the better team early on while racing out to a 14-5 first quarter lead. However in the second quarter, the tides turned in Sweet Springs favor late in the period as the Lady Greyhounds rallied from a 22-6 deficit to cut the lead back to five at 22-17 at the break.
New Franklin also closed out the final five minutes and 24 seconds without a basket.
Nonetheless, the Lady Bulldogs pushed the lead back to 12 in the third quarter by outscoring Sweet Springs 15-8 to make it 37-25. Meanwhile, in the final period, New Franklin led by as much as 14 and kept it there for pretty much the rest of the game by outscoring the Lady Greyhounds 15-13.
Junior Madison Matney had the game-high for New Franklin with 19 points along with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Jasmine Himmelberg finished the game with a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds along with three assists while Cassie Armentrout added nine points and three rebounds, Shelby Breshears four points, six rebounds and one assist, Grace Hundley three points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals, Lilly Oser three points and one assist and Madison Maupin with one rebound.
New Franklin also finished the game shooting both 44 percent from the field and foul line.
For Sweet Springs, Mariah Harper had 14 points and Sydney Vaught with 10.