Barring an upset during the final week of the season, the New Franklin boys basketball team will have at least a shot at sharing the title in the Central Activities Conference with the Slater Wildcats.
With three games left-two at home and one on the road-the Bulldogs went on the road again Friday night and beat the upset-minded Sturgeon Bulldogs 51-29 victory.
New Franklin improved to 21-1 overall and 6-1 in the CAC.
“I felt that this was a solid way to bounce back after losing on Tuesday,” said New Franklin coach Ross Dobson. “I thought our defensive effort really showed by holding a good Sturgeon team to less than 30 points. Hopefully this will be a springboard into our final week of the season.  If we are wanting a share of the conference title we will have to come to play all three games.”
The Bulldogs left little doubt while leading Sturgeon 19-7 after one, 28-18 at the half and 45-22 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Sturgeon outscored New Franklin 7-6.
As for the scoring in the game for New Franklin, Tyler Perkins led three players in double figures with 16 points. Gavin Bishop chipped in 13, Tysen Dowell 10 and Tre Cowans and Crayton Gallatin each with six.
For Sturgeon, Jacob Brooks was the only player in double figures with 14 points. Jake Snider had nine.
As for the New Franklin Lady Bulldogs basketball team, they also had a nice win on the road against Sturgeon 55-53.
The Lady Bulldogs, 13-9 overall and 3-4 in the Central Activities Conference, had a slow start against Sturgeon while trailing 16-10 after one, 26-21 at the break and 43-37 after three quarters of play. But in this instance its not how you start but how you finish as the Lady Bulldogs escaped with a big win on the road by outscoring Sturgeon 18-10 in the final period for the come from behind victory.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said this was a big win in the final minutes of the contest. “The girls worked hard, stuck together and pulled through,” Vetter said.
Abby Maupin led all scorers for New Franklin with 19 points. Madelyn Chaney chipped in 13 while Kristen Flick added 12, Carly Dorson seven and Kelsi Fair with four.
For Sturgeon, Jalissa Woods had 18 and Alayna Hall 13.
New Franklin girls also finished the game, hitting 19 of 32 shots from the field for 59 percent compared to just 9 of 16 for Sturgeon for 56 percent.
Note: The New Franklin boys drew the No. 1 seed in the Class 2 District 7 Tournament, which will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 25 in Smithton.
Slater boys picked up the No. 2 seed, followed by Cole Camp, Tipton, Lincoln, Smithton, Fayette and Stover.
For the girls, Tipton drew the No. 1 seed. Stover is seeded second, followed by Cole Camp, New Franklin, Slater, Fayette, Smithton and Lincoln.
The girls side of the bracket will begin on Monday, Feb. 24.