As expected, the New Franklin boys and Community R-6 girls basketball teams won the championship in the annual New Franklin Invitational Tournament on Friday.
With the first, third and fifth place games moved up one day due to inclement weather forecasted on Saturday, the Bulldogs and Lady Trojans had little trouble on the court while leading from start to finish.
New Franklin defeated Sturgeon 43-39 to improve to 11-0 on the season while Community R-6 upended a much improved New Franklin Lady Bulldogs team for the title 60-31.
In other games, the Sweet Springs girls defeated Fayette 62-46 in the third place game while the Fayette boys beat Westran 61-45 for third place. In the fifth place games, the Bunceton/Prairie Home girls won 45-31 over Sturgeon while the Prairie Home/Bunceton boys finished six better than Community R-6 56-50.
The New Franklin boys never trailed in the game against Sturgeon and led 16-12 after one, 28-15 at the half and 31-19 after three quarters of play. However, in the fourth period, Sturgeon cut into New Franklin’s lead with a 20-12 advantage to make it a four point ballgame.
“It was good to win our tournament,” said New Franklin coach Ross Dobson. “It is something we always want to do year to year.  Tonight’s game was a battle against a tough conference opponent.  I thought we were able to give the effort and intensity for a back to back game night.  I am proud of the boys and want to thank all of the fans for supporting the Bulldogs.”
Gavin Bishop led all scorers for New Franklin with 19 points. Tyler Perkins chipped in 14 while Tysen Dowell added five, Carter Bailey three and Tre Cowans with two.
For Sturgeon, Jake Snider had 10, Logan Flashpohler nine and Jacob Brooks with eight.
As for the New Franklin girls, they trailed Community R-6 15-10 after first period’s end and 34-16 at the half. The Lady Trojans also held a 26-15 advantage in the final two periods to win the game by 29.
While the loss dropped New Franklin to 6-5 on the season, head coach Morgan Vetter said the girls had a tough turnaround coming off a big win the night before against Sweet Springs in overtime. “This group is getting better with each and every game and I look forward to next week with two conference games,” Vetter said.
Dalaney Bowers led three players in double figures for Community with 17 points while Natalie Thomas added 11 and Brianna Beamer with 10.
For New Franklin, Addy Salmon had 11, Abby Maupin and Carly Dorson seven each, Kristen Flick four and Campbell Cooper with two.
As for the Bunceton/Prairie Home girls, they led Sturgeon 20-9 at the half and then outscored the Bulldogs 25-22 in the second half.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said the girls capped off their tournament run in a good fashion. “The girls came out and played well enough to win by giving everything they had left in the tank,” Ray said. “It has been a long couple of weeks and these girls have shown true grit, and raw determination to succeed when they had to.”
Kelsey Watson and Chloe Moser each had 13 points in the game for Bunceton, 9-5. Moser also finished the game with 12 rebounds for a double-double while Watson had four steals, two rebounds and two assists. Ashlyn Twenter and Reagan Triebsch finished the game with five points each while Madelynn Myers added three and Maggie Wood, Cara Bishop and Maddie Brandes with two points apiece.
Alayna Hall had 12 for Sturgeon.
As for the Prairie Home/Bunceton boys, they broke a 22-22 tie at the half by outscoring Community R-6 34-28 in the second half.
Prairie Home coach Trever Huth said the boys came out and controlled the game right from the get go.
Jason Burnett had 18 points and three rebounds to lead the Panthers, 8-6. Kassen Lock added 15 points and five assists while Clayton Pethan tallied seven points, 15 boards and four assists, Alex Rhode seven points and eight rebounds, Blane Petsel five points, four rebounds and four assists, Dillon Alpers three points and five rebounds and Ty Stidham with one point.