The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats split their first doubleheader of the season last Saturday at the F-S Gym against the Clinton County Bulldogs, from the 16th District of the 4th Region.
GirlsFranklin-Simpson 43 Clinton County 39
Senior Kate Norwood’s 18 points and senior Alera Barbee’s 12 points combine led the Lady Cats to their first win of the season, 43-39, over the Lady Bulldogs.
“Tonight’s game showed that you can play sloppy, and we did, and you can still come away with a win,” Norwood said. “It is good to get everybody involved and it was good to get Alera (Barbee) and Hadley (Turner) involved. Being off the ball, I’ve been able to look more and control the flow, I’ve been able to create for other people.”
Clinton County jumped out to a nine-point lead at 12-3, their biggest of the game, with senior Abbi Young draining two 3-pointers for six points. Franklin-Simpson battled back as Norwood’s seven points cut their deficit down to 15-11 at the end of the first.
The Lady Cats’ defense held the Lady Bulldogs to one made field goal, Young’s third 3-pointer of the game, that helped them take the lead at 21-19 on Barbee’s basket with 2:55 left in the 1st Half. Norwood added another basket for a 23-21 lead at halftime.
With four points each from Barbee, Norwood and sophomore Hadley Turner, Franklin-Simpson extended their lead to as high as nine points, 35-26. Senior Braylee Mann’s six points kept Clinton County close as they trailed 35-30 after three.
A 7-2 run by Clinton County tied the game at 37-37 midway through the 4th Quarter. But a traditional three-point play from Barbee and a basket by Norwood led the Lady Cats to a 43-39 victory.
“They (Clinton County) came out grittier than us by getting more rebounds and taking care of the basketball. We did a better job with that in the 2nd Half,” Wildcats head coach Ashley Taylor said. “They played a zone against us and we had a hard time scoring against that so we will work on that. Everything for us starts on the defensive end. If we can get a turnover or stop and get out in transition, we look a lot better and able to score.”
Hadley Turner scored eight points for Franklin-Simpson with sophomores Le Le Partinger scoring three points along with two free throws from Conleigh Wilson.
“We needed this win tonight. We should have had a win against Hart County but we really needed this,” Turner said. “I am not in my groove yet but I will get there and play my best basketball. These are my first games played in quite a long time, but I am going to work hard and get back in my groove.”
Aysha Sutton led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points with Anni Young adding nine points with Braylee Mann adding eight points and Landree Moons with seven.
BoysClinton County 49 Franklin-Simpson 42
Heading into their first game of the season, Franklin-Simpson was shorthanded with at least three of the team’s key players unable to play. The Bulldogs needed an 11-4 run late in the 4th Quarter, which broke a 38-38 tie handing the Wildcats their first loss 49-42.
“I thought the guys played hard but not smart at times. It will come along as we move on through the season,” Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. “We will work on some rebounding because we need to box out better. Defensively, we need to work on communication. Offensively, our shots will come when guys get in better shape so that will take care of itself.”
“Coming over here to play is always a tough game,” Bulldogs head coach Todd Messer said. “The way Coach Spencer plays the 1-3-1 defense with their length throws you off kilter. They do a great job of taking away passing lanes with their quickness with the plays we tried to run that we have had success with over the years. We still have to get better offensively but defensively, we are doing what we have to do to get out of some games with wins.”
Franklin-Simpson jumped out to an early 6-2 lead with baskets from seniors Isaac Marshall, Andreyous Miller and Marlon Sims. Balanced scoring from six different players led Clinton County to an 11-10 lead, but Marshall’s 3-pointer at the end of the first gave the Wildcats a 13-11 lead.
Three lead changes with two ties occurred in the 2nd Quarter as Miller scored seven of the Wildcats’ 10 points. Senior Chase Stines scored six points with junio Nick Delk added five points as the Bulldogs closed the 1st Half on a 6-2 run for a 26-23 lead at halftime.
Sims’ 3-pointer along with Marshall’ s basket gave Franklin-Simpson the lead, 28-26. Miller scored seven points for the Wildcats but Delk’s seven points including his basket at the end of the 3rd ‘Quarter tied the game at 35-35 at the end of three.
Marshall and Miller combined to score seven points in the 4th Quarter for Franklin-Simpson but with the score tied at 38-38, Clinton County pulled away at the end. Senior Nick Brown scored nine points with Delk adding a basket, five points overall as the Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats 49-42.
“I am super proud of them,” Spencer said. “I talked to them before the game about competing every second of the game and I feel like we did that. Fatigue crept in on us late in the game. Can’t simulate game speed until we are in it and now that they had that, we’ll learn from it and see what we can do.”
Andreyous Miller and Nick Delk each scored a game high of 19 points. Isaac Marshall added 11 points for the Wildcats with Marlon Sims adding seven points and Jalen Briscoe adding five. Nick Brown scored 11 points for the Bulldogs and Chase Stines scored 10 points.
“Scoring and getting stops in spurts have been out M.O. in our games so far and that showed again this afternoon. We’ll score and get stops and then we relax again where we’re not scoring and allowing shots to fall,” Messer said. “We’re nowhere near consistent and with the COVID situation, we re running on seven days of practice and nothing is smooth right now. Hopefully, we got the makings of a good basketball team. We got the pieces but we have got to get more disciplined and fundamentally sound.”
Franklin-Simpson is scheduled to play at Logan County in their first 13th District game of the season in a girls/boys varsity doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.
Both games will be streamed on the internet by going to www.franklinfavorite.com and click on the WFKN tab in the blue toolbar. Then, press the WFKN Sports tab and click on the play button.