Will play Cole Camp for the title on Saturday starting at 5 p.m.
The third time was a charm for the New Franklin boys basketball team Thursday night in the semifinal round of the Class 2 District 14 Tournament at Stover.
After two unsuccessful stints against the Fayette Falcons, losing 43-42 back on December 4th and 56-38 on January 5th, the Bulldogs got it done when it counted the most by knocking off the No. 1 seed by a score of 64-53.
New Franklin, improving to 19-8 on the season, will now move on to the championship game on Saturday against No. 2 Cole Camp starting at 5 p.m. Cole Camp won by 10 against sixth-seeded Smithton 56-46.
New Franklin coach Ross Dobson said the boys competed against a very good Fayette team. “Fayette is a very good team and well coached,” Dobson said. “I am proud with our effort and energy with last night. We now move our focus to Saturday night.”
Of course the win wasn’t easy for the Bulldogs, who trailed 11-10 at the end of the first quarter. However, in the second period, New Franklin came out and outscored Fayette 21-9 to lead at the break by a score of 31-20. The Bulldogs never trailed after that by holding a 14-10 advantage in the third period to extend the lead to 45-30. Meanwhile, in the final period, Fayette made it interesting by outscoring New Franklin 23-19 but was unable to close the gap by no more than four points to suffer the loss.
Gavin Bishop led three players in double figures for New Franklin with 18 points. Tyler Perkins and Kolby Anson chipped in 17 points each while Carter Bailey added six, Tre’ Cowans four and Jackson Dorson with two.
For Fayette, Kyle Schleeter had 20, Isaiah Estes 11 and Cale Polson 10.
New Franklin also finished the game shooting 60 percent from the foul line by hitting 18 of 30 shots.
On the girls side of the bracket last night, No. 1 Tipton cruised past Fayette 88-54 while No. 2 Cole Camp upended Smithton 52-20.
Tipton and Cole Camp will play for the title on Saturday as well starting at 3 p.m. In only meeting between the two schools this season, Cole Camp defeated Tipton 45-32 to hand the Lady Cardinals their first loss of the season.
The winner will advance to the Class 2 Sectional Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 27th at State Fair Community College in Sedalia. The boys will play the first game at 6 p.m. against the District 13 winner out of Archie, followed by the girls game at 7:45.