The Ss. Peter & Paul boys sixth grade basketball team might have been down, but they weren’t out Friday night against New Franklin in the championship in the New Franklin 5th-6th Grade Tournament.

Trailing 12-5 at the half against the Bulldogs, Ss. Peter & Paul rallied back with a big second half by outscoring New Franklin 16-6 for a 21-18 victory.

Ss. Peter & Paul coach Blake Oswald said the boys played with a lot of heart.

“They never gave up, especially after a very slow start in the first half,” Oswald said. “They dug deep and was able to gain the momentum of the game and took control at the beginning of the third quarter and put together a great second half to secure the win.”

Of course Oswald probably had his doubts after New Franklin jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. And even though the Warriors matched the Bulldogs with five points in the second period, they still trailed 12-5 at the half.

“First quarter was very soft,” Oswald said. “We weren’t aggressive defensively like we normally were. Our shots wouldn’t fall and it set us behind early. Second quarter we kept up with New Franklin. We matched them in points thank to our free throws and our defense finally coming around.”

Of course it got better before it got worse for the Warriors. In the third quarter, Ss. Peter & Paul outscored New Franklin 7-4 to cut the lead to four at 16-12.

“The third quarter was when the game changed,” Oswald said. “We started anticipating passes and played our type of game.”

The Warriors also played their type of game in the final period by outscoring New Franklin 9-2 for the win.

“The fourth quarter was all about the boy’s heart and determination,” Oswald said. “They knew what they needed to do and finished the game strong. Aden Rapp and Brayden Viertel did an excellent job taking care of the ball, only giving up four turnovers combined and looking for our best opportunities. Cash Leonard, Lucas Schuster and Viertel also excelled their game in the fourth quarter by locking in the win for us. I couldn’t be happier with this team during this season. Their love for this game, each other, and those who came to support them is second to none. Their heart and dedication was contagious. I hope these boys had as much fun as I did this season.”

Brayden Viertel led the Warriors with seven points along with three rebounds and three steals.

Cash Leonard finished the game with six points, three rebounds and one steal while Clayton Schuster added five points, five rebounds and two steals, Lucas Schuster three points and four rebounds, Aden Rapp two rebounds and one steal and Grayson Esser with one rebound and one steal.