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New Franklin, Bunceton with Prairie Home girls advance in New Franklin Tourney

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Pilot Grove’s Emma Sleeper (12) and Natalie Glenn (25) battle New Franklin’s Abby Maupin (23) for the ball in the second half Monday night in the opening round of the New Franklin Tournament.

The New Franklin and Bunceton with Prairie Home girls basketball team both had something in common Monday night in the opening round of the 92nd annual New Franklin Tournament.

Although both teams were on different sides of the bracket, they both advanced to the next round of the tournament. The Lady Bulldogs won with a big fourth quarter to beat Pilot Grove 40-38 while Bunceton led Fayette from start to finish for a 57-32 victory.

In other games in the tournament on Monday, No. 1 seeded Community beat eighth-seeded Westran 69-18 while No. 2 Sweet Springs with Malta Bend upended No. 7 Sturgeon 66-41.

Tournament action will continue tonight, with Sweet Springs boys playing New Franklin at 5 p.m., followed by Sturgeon versus Prairie Home with Bunceton at 6, Westran versus Community at 7 and Fayette versus Pilot Grove at 8.

The Lady Bulldogs, 5-5 on the season, trailed for pretty much the entire game against Pilot Grove as the Tigers led 17-8  after first period’s thanks to a 6-0 start. Meanwhile, in the second period, New Franklin went on a 6-0 run during a 40 second stretch to cut the lead to five at 21-16.

The Lady Bulldogs also outscored Pilot Grove 8-6 in the period.

Both teams also had a hard time putting the ball in the basket in the third quarter, with New Franklin outscoring Pilot Grove 9-7 to cut the lead to five at 30-25.

However, after leading by as much as eight (33-25 and 35-27) on two different occasions against New Franklin, the Lady Tigers couldn’t seem to buy a basket for a two minute stretch as New Franklin reeled off nine straight to take its first lead of the game at 39-37 with 1:23 left.

Meanwhile, after both teams traded free throws with New Franklin leading 40-38, the Lady Tigers had a little bad luck come their way when Marci Lammers hit a potential game winning three right when Pilot Grove coach Grant Fricke called timeout. Instead of leading 41-40 with 6.5 seconds left, the Lady Tigers trailed by one with the ball. As it turned out, Pilot Grove missed on two attempts to give New Franklin the victory.

New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said it was a good win.

“We always seem to dig ourselves in a hole and we always joke with them that they like a close game,” Vetter said. “I think they would rather just keep it interesting the whole time. Of course we’re trying to stray away from that and just trying to put it together for four quarters.”

Fricke said for one quarter the Lady Tigers just managed to play Pilot Grove basketball. “That was in the first quarter 17-8, our advantage,” Fricke said. “We pressed, we attack the bucket in transition, good ball movement, good shots, race you to 60, and first one there wins. Then New Franklin stepped in and made us play their style of basketball. They have a great 1-2-2, fundamentally sound, half court defense. We hit a wall and were unable to recover from it with 6, 7 and 8 points in the final three quarters.”

Fricke added that anything under double digits per quarter and the Lady Tigers struggle. He said New Franklin played well and deserved to win that game.

“My girls kept fighting and the game came down to the final possession,” Fricke said. “Unfortunately, I made a rookie coach mistake in the closing seconds. The girls got a look at the bucket, managed to fight for the offensive rebound, I looked to the clock, and called timeout with 6.6 seconds remaining. What was unfortunate about the timeout call was that it was all of one moment before Marci Lammers would’ve had the game-winning three-pointer. But we had to wipe it away and move on to the next play. We had 6.6 left, which is enough time to run a set play, however, that shot did not fall.”

No player finished the game in double figures for either team. Madelyn Chaney and Carly Dorson each had nine points while Campbell Cooper, Addy Salmon and Abby Maupin added six points each and Kristen Flick and Kelsi Fair each with two points.

For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 5-3, Marci Lammers and Emma Sleeper tied for the team high with nine points. Grace Phillips and Natalie Glenn chipped in eight points each while Danae Lammers and Ava Hoff contributed two points apiece.

As for the Bunceton with Prairie Home girls, they had a great start against Fayette by hitting 7 of 11 shots in the opening quarter and going on runs of 10 and six points to lead the Falcons 18-6.

The Lady Dragons also outscored Fayette 10-8 in the second quarter to lead at the half 28-14. However, in the third quarter, Fayette used the press to its advantage by outscoring Bunceton 14-8 to cut the lead to nine at 37-28. The Lady Falcons also forced nine Bunceton turnovers in the period.

Fayette never got any closer in the final period as Bunceton opened the quarter with six straight points to increase the lead to 15 at 43-28 with 6:42 left. The Lady Bulldogs also finished the period on a 14-0 run to win the game by 25.

Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said this was a very rough and physical game. “We had some issues with fouling all night long,” Ray said. “The girls made an adjustment and just plain and simple out-played the other team. Great game for Madison Brown putting up a career-high point total.”

With only six players total in the game for Bunceton, sophomore Madison Brown definitely delivered while finishing with a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Brown also had three assists and two steals. Maddie Brandes also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds while Kelsey Watson added eight points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal, Maggie Wood six points, three rebounds and three assists, Madelynn Myers four points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals and Kylee Myers with three points, three rebounds and one assist.

For Fayette, Abby Nation had 10 points and Laci Fuhlage with eight.

In other games, Sarah Angel had 17 points and Brianna Beamer with 12 as Community R-6 led Westran 39-5 at the half and 62-14 after three quarters. Dylan Perry had eight points in the game for Westran. As for the Sweet Springs girls, they led Sturgeon by just one (31-30) at the half before pulling away in the second half with a 35-11 advantage. Michaela Malter had 30 points and Ryan Johnson 15 to lead Sweet Springs. Sturgeon was led by Shelby Bailey with 12 points and Aydan Wilhite with 10.

Bunceton’s Madelynn Myers (33) puts up a shot over Fayette’s Breanna Estes (32) in the fourth quarter Monday night in the opening round of the New Franklin Tournament.