If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That was the motto the Slater boys basketball team lived by Tuesday night after two unsuccessful attempts against the previously unbeaten and state-ranked New Franklin Bulldogs.
Although both wins by New Franklin have been by a combined five points, the Wildcats won this round Tuesday night on New Franklin’s home floor with a 62-52 victory.
The two teams could possibly meet for a fourth time in the district tournament at Smithton.
But for now, the Wildcats can at least say they beat the Bulldogs once this season-which puts the two teams now in a tie for first place in the Centralia Activities Conference. New Franklin is currently 20-1 overall and 5-1 in the CAC while Slater improved to 17-2 overall and 5-1 in league play.
New Franklin coach Ross Dobson said any game against Slater is a battle and each possession is an important one. “Tonight they didn’t have as many empty possessions as us,” Dobson said. “We missed a lot of easy shots and they got us out of our style of play. We tip our hat to the Slater players and coaches, but this should add motivation to our club for the remainder of the season. I also would like to mention that our Pink Night run by Kelsey Beeler was able to raise $2,500 for cancer research.”
The Wildcats definitely had an agenda against the Bulldogs while leading at the end of each quarter. But even then New Franklin held it’s own against Slater despite trailing 15-9 after one, 30-25 at the half and 41-38 after three quarters of play.
New Franklin actually outscored Slater 16-15 in the second period and 13-11 in the third quarter.
However it was the fourth quarter that did the Bulldogs in as Slater went from being up by just three to outscore New Franklin 21-14 in the final eight minutes.
Gavin Bishop and Tyler Perkins, who both hit the 1,000 point mark last week in the win over Brunswick, finished the game with 21 points each against Slater. Tre Cowans chipped in five, Tysen Dowell three and Jackson Dorson with two.
For Slater, Aden Campbell had 18 while Hank Jacobson and Jakorie Terrill added 15 points each.
As for the New Franklin girls basketball team, they fell as well against a team they had just beaten last week by a score of 48-47.
The Lady Bulldogs, 12-9 overall and 2-4 in the CAC, trailed Slater 16-13 after one, 29-24 at the half and 39-37 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the fourth period, New Franklin outscored the Wildcats 10-9 only to fall short by one.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said this was an extremely tough loss. “We have to capitalize on our opportunities when we have them right in front of us,” Vetter said.
For New Franklin, Madelyn Chaney and Abby Maupin tossed in 12 points each while Kristen Flick added 10, Addy Salmon seven, Faith Painter four and Carly Dorson with two.