The New Franklin boys junior high basketball team entered the annual Prairie Home Invitational Tournament undefeated.
Although it was just one game into the 2018 season, the Bulldogs kept their record clean through three games by beating St. Andrews of Tipton in the championship game on Saturday 34-32.
In the girls championship game, St. Andrews of Tipton handed Pilot Grove its first loss of the season with a 52-22 victory.
The New Franklin boys, 4-0 on the season, trailed St. Andrews 7-3 after one, 12-10 at the break before rallying back with a 24-20 advantage in the final two periods for the come from behind victory.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said the boys eked out this win. “St. Andrews was very aggressive with their pressure and found some success against our guards,” Schlotzhauer said. “We played too quickly the entire game, which led to poor ball movement and turnovers. That being said, we did enough to win the game. I’m very proud of how our team fought for the win for four quarters. It would have been a fun game to be in the stands watching.”
Sawyer Felten had the team high for New Franklin with 13 points. Tanner Bishop chipped in 10, Clayton Wilmsmeyer six, Keaton Eads three and Connor Wilmsmeyer with two.
St. Andrews was led by Jack Moon with 15 points.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they trailed from the opening tip against St. Andrews, who led 24-11 at the half and 44-17 after three quarters of play. St. Andrews also outscored the Lady Tigers 8-5 in the final period.
Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott said Tipton girls played in tournaments all year round together.
“We were able to score 20 points against them,” Scott said. “Emma Sleeper is really coming along as a seventh grade and has led us in scoring in every game this season. Marci Lammers hit threes tonight and is really improving as well. I thought the girls effort was super. Tipton’s press is unbelievable. We needed to play this level of play to get us ready for the rest of the season. The girls showed great heart against a team that is simply better than most teams we play. I am so proud of these girls. This is another second place finish this year in this tournament.”
Emma Sleeper was the leading scorer in the game for Pilot Grove, who dropped to 3-1, with 11 points. Marci Lammers tossed in eight while Grace Peterson added two and Lauren Krumm with one.
In the girls third place game, New Franklin defeated Jamestown 35-20.
The Lady Bulldogs, 3-1 on the season, outscored Jamestown in three out of the four quarters of play and led 21-11 at the half and 27-18 after three quarters of play. New Franklin also held a 8-2 advantage in the final period.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said she was very proud of the effort and heart the girls showed throughout this tournament. “We open up this week with a game at home against Prairie Home and then at Sturgeon on Tuesday,” Vetter said. “We look forward to bettering ourselves before the CAC Tournament next week.”
Carly Dorson burned the nets for 19 points to lead all scorers for New Franklin. Justice Singleton tossed in eight points while Addy Salmon added six and Kelsi Fair with two.
For Jamestown, Madison Haldiman had seven points.
In the boys third place game, Pilot Grove led Tuscumbia from start to finish for a 52-34 victory.
The Tigers, improving to 3-1 on the season, opened the first quarter with a 13-7 lead against Tuscumbia and then outscored the Lions 16-13 in the second period to take a 29-20 lead in to the half. Pilot Grove also held a 23-14 advantage in the second half to win the game by 18.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the boys were able to get back on the court to pick themselves up after a tough team loss versus St. Andrews. “I thought all of our boys played well and showed great energy,” Skaggs said. “We were able to grab a win and take home the third place trophy and it is a great week when you can win two of three games. This was a solid junior high tournament and I am proud of our guys.”
Maddex Douglas had 15 points to lead three players in double figures for Pilot Grove. Hank Zeller had 11, Tate Rentel 10, Logan Goehman eight, Ian Sprick six and Jesse Dillion with two.