The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats defeated the Russellville Panthers 72-54 to stay undefeated in the 13th District and move one step closer in winning the district regular season championship.
The Wildcats are 4-0 in the district, 6-2 overall for the season, with the Panthers’ district record being 2-2. The Logan County Cougars are 1-2 in district play and the Todd County Central Rebels are winless with a district record of 0-3.
“Winning the district is our ultimate goal,” Wildcats’ had coach Dee Spencer. “We practiced hard since the Warren East game but the guys did this themselves. We got on them a bit. We pushed them and they did a good job of responding. They felt like they were embarrassed with their effort against Warren East and they did a good job of bouncing back.”
Franklin-Simpson’s defense allowed t0heir offense to score for a 13-2 lead. Seniors Andreyas Miller and Kyjuan Stutzman each scored seven points with junior Jalen Briscoe and sophomore Demarcus Hogan each scoring two points each as the Wildcats led 18-7 at the end of one.
Franklin-Simpson’s defense forced turnovers that allowed Hogan to attack the basket ro score nine points in the 2nd Quarter. Senior Kadyn Lowe’s basket gave the Wildcats their biggest lead in the 1st Half, 31-11. With his second 3-pointer of the game, Miller scored seven points and with three free throws from Briscoe, Franklin-Simpson led 39-21 at halftime.
“I was thinking coming into this game that I have had a couple of bad games. So I had to get going and just attack,” Demarcus Hogan said. “We were locked in and we want to still make the statement that we are the best team in the district.”
Stutzman scored six points with a 3-point basket and traditional three-point play in the 3rd Quarter. Sophomore Connor Vincent scored four points with senior Malron Sims’ two points as the Wildcats maintained their lead. But the Panthers kept battling as sophomore Layne Steele knocked down two 3-pointers with junior Jovari Gamble also knocking down one. Senior Jackson Hampton added five points as Russellville kept within striking distance as they trailed 53-41 at the end of the third.
Senior Isaac Marshall scored six points that led the Wildcats on an early 10-5 run for a 63-46 lead. Lowe, Miller and Stutzman added baskets and freshman Gavin Dickerson added the icing to the cake with a 3-pointer in the closing moments of the game as Franklin-Simpson defeated Russellville 72-54 to stay undefeated at 4-0 in 13th District play.
“Feels good to actually score some points instead of just playing defense,” Isaac Marshall said. “We had to step on their necks and put them away. We had a pretty good lead but Russellville went on a couple of good runs but we had a couple of good possessions, slowed it down and got almost 10 passes per possession to interrupt what they had going.”
Miller led all scorers with a game high of 20 points with Stutzman scoring 17 points and Hogan adding 11 points for the Wildcats.
“Complete team effort,” Spencer said. “Super proud of them and that’s the way we have to play. We can’t be just one or two guys scoring. We need to have everyone contribute and we have a team where we have more than two players just score. The younger guys have to get more confident in what they are doing and their shots will fall.”
Jackson Hampton led the Panthers with 15 points with Xavier Coleman adding 12 points and Layne Steele with 11.
Franklin-Simpson hosts the Todd County Central Rebels on Friday night at the F-S Gym with the 13th District regular season championship on the line.
Tip-off time is around 7:30 p.m. and 1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast the game immediately following the girls’ game and on the internet by going to www.franklinfavorite.com and click on the WFKN link in the blue toolbar. Then click on the WFKN Sports tab and press the play button.