New Franklin boys and girls prevail against Pilot Grove in CAC
The New Franklin boys and girls basketball teams used two different methods to winning Thursday night on the road against the Pilot Grove Tigers.
While the Lady Bulldogs avenged an earlier loss just five days previously with a convincing 56-34 victory, the New Franklin boys rallied from five down by outscoring the Tigers 15-9 in the final period to win 46-45.
The Lady Bulldogs, improving to 9-14 overall and 4-4 in the CAC, led Pilot Grove from start to finish while taking a 27-13 lead into the half and then outscoring the Tigers 15-8 in the third period to go up 42-21. New Franklin also held a 14-13 scoring edge in the final period.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said this was a great team win. “I thought the girls came out and played aggressive the whole game and communicated throughout,” Vetter said. “This was a great way to end our regular season play before entering districts against Marceline. I’m very proud of the effort and heart tonight by the girls.”
Abby Maupin led all scorers in the game for New Franklin with 14 points. Addy Salmon chipped in 13 while Carly Dorson added 12, Kristen Flick six, Dakota Clark five, Madelyn Chaney three, Kelsi Fair two and Campbell Cooper with one.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 13-8 overall and 4-3 in the CAC, Emma Sleeper had 17, Natalie Glenn 12 and Danae Lammers with five.
Pilot Grove coach Grant Fricke said New Franklin was the better team tonight. “They scored in double figures every quarter, held us to single digits quarter three times, shot the ball well, hitting six threes, five of them in the first half, and we just struggled all night,” Fricke said. “It was technically Senior Night but we have another home game Friday against Slater. This is definitely not the way we wanted to end our season. We’ll look to improve and be better going into our game against Slater and then districts as we get to host Northwest of Hughesville.”
As for the New Franklin boys basketball team, they took a different approach early but not one that head coach Ross Dobson liked while trailing the Tigers 14-6 after first period’s end and 24-17 at the half. However, in the third quarter, New Franklin closed the gap from seven down at the half to five at the end of the third period at 36-21 after outscoring Pilot Grove 14-12.
With eight minutes left to make up the difference, New Franklin appeared to save its best for last by outscoring Pilot Grove in the final period 15-9 for the one point victory.
Dobson said his team got down early and had been trailing for the majority of the game. “These young men never quit and they kept fighting until the very end,” Dobson said. “We will need to work on rebounding and free throws if we want to continue playing. It seems unreal that districts are starting, but I have faith that we will fight until the very end.”
Tysen Dowell had the high game for New Franklin, who improved to 13-6, with 16 points. Tanner Bishop tossed in 11 while Brett Boggs added six, Clayton Wilmsmeyer five, Caleb Hull and Blake Evans each with three and Owen Armentrout and Tyler Jennings with one point apiece.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 9-13 overall and 2-5 in the CAC, Bailey Quint had 19, Dalton Hazlett eight, Dade Christy and Seth Blumhorst four each, Hayden Krumm three, Bo Vinson, Luke Kollmeyer and Dalton Reuter with two each and Dylan Schupp with one.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the Tigers got a rematch for redemption and had New Franklin right where they wanted them and came up short.
“Our guys showed great determination in tonight’s contest,” Skaggs said. “They have been hit with a tough two weeks, but we were certainly humbled by their ability to compete given the circumstances. We had a few moments in the second and fourth where we couldn’t get anything to fall offensively, however, we also got to recognize six seniors who have been everything that we want our program to stand for. They will be outstanding citizens for the future and while we are not completely ready to let go of them, we recognize them. We know that with a great week we can achieve great things going into districts.”
In the boys JV game, New Franklin defeated Pilot Grove 44-27.
Jake Marshall had 12 to lead all scorers for New Franklin. For Pilot Grove, Maddex Douglas had 10, Levi Jeffries eight, Logan Goehman six and Ian Sprick with three.
Skaggs said the young guys got a chance in one last game before the season closed.