The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats finished as runner-up in the Section 2 of the Class 2-A Tournament. They defeated the Warren East Raiders 64-62 on Dec. 16 in the quarterfinal round followed by a 12-point win at the Hart County Raiders in the semifinal round but lost to the Warren Central Dragons in the championship game this past Saturday night at the F-S Gym.
Class 2-A Section 2 Championship GameWarren Central 58, Franklin-Simpson 46Four ties occurred in the 1st Quarter with a lead change as the Dragons took an early lead with free throws by seniors D’Andre Boyd and Geovanni Floyd with a basket from senior Antonio Barbee. Seniors Dawson Knight’s 3-pointer along with Demarco Chatman’s basket tied the game at 5-5. Later, junior Andreyous Miller’s basket gave the Wildcats a 7-5 lead. Chatman’s fourth point along with a basket by senior Tedric Partinger kept Franklin-Simpson their lead. But Boyd’s baskets for Warren Central tied the game two more times as the score was tied 11-11 at the end of one.
Boyd’s 3-pointer opened the 2nd Quarter for a 7-0 run by the Dragons. Chatman scored five straight points that cut the Wildcats’ deficit down to two, 18-16. Seniors Kamden Lawrence scored four points and with a 3-pointer from Tayton Smith extended Warren Central’s lead to 25-18. Partinger scored three points down the stretch as Franklin-Simpson trailed 26-21 at halftime.
Junior Kyjuan Stutzman made a 3-pointer along with Miller’s basket in the 3rd Quarter but the Dragons extended their lead to as high as 14 points, 43-29 led by Boyd’s seven points along with three points from Floyd. Chatman and Stutzman scored baskets late as the Wildcats trailed 43-33 at the end of the third.
Lawrence’s basket early in the 4th quarter gave Warren Central a 12-point lead, 45-33. Miller and Partinger provided baskets that cut Franklin-Simpson’s deficit down to single digits, 45-37. Boyd’s traditional three-point lead along with a basket by Smith put the Dragons’ lead back to double digits, 50-37. The Wildcats rallied as Stutzman made three consecutive 3-pointers that put them to within single digits again, 43-46. But Boyd and Lawrence made free throws to close out the game as Warren Central won the Section 2 Class 2-A Championship Game, 58-46 over Franklin-Simpson.
“Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding. Those guys are super athletic and they did a good job of crashing the glass. We were standing around and watching and not putting a body on them,” Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. “Offense comes and goes but we got to figure out a way to rebound the ball better. Rebounding was the difference in the game.”
“Our style is to really pressure you and this was our sixth game in 10 days. We really didn’t have the energy to run so you know at some point, we have to win some games in the half court,” Dragons head coach William Unseld said. “We did a great job defensively and in the half court. I am proud of the kids as they fought through some adversity.”
Kyjuan Stutzman led the Wildcats with 16 points with Demarco Chatman adding 11 points.
D’Andre Boyd led all scorers with a game high of 23 points with Kamden Lawrence and Tayton Smith each having nine points.
“They didn’t make as many shots as they did the last time we played them,” Spencer said. “The guys did a good job of closing out and locating them and then, if we rebound the ball, (D’Andre) Boyd wouldn’t have gotten 10 or 12 points off rebounds. We got to do a better job of cleaning up on the glass.”
“Dee (Spencer) is doing a heck of a job with his kids. They are fighting hard and competing and we answered back from everything that they gave us. They did a great job of getting to our shooters. We had some open looks and we missed them. There will be nights like that so credit goes to them,” Unseld said. “We got to the rim late as we had driving lanes as they were staying out on the shooters. Kind of like picking your poison. They decided to stay out on the shooters so we go to the rim, something that we didn’t do in the 1st Half.”
Class 2-A Section 2 Semifinal Game Franklin-Simpson 74 Hart County 62
Franklin-Simpson advanced to the Class 2-A Section 2 Championship Game with a 74-62 victory at the Hart County Raiders last Tuesday night in Munfordville.
“Tonight’s game was pretty good,” Andreyous Miller said. “We came in and took care of business and did what we had to do. We came in and played our game. We knew what we was capable of doing. We knew that they couldn’t keep up so we kept applying pressure.”
“I’m super proud of them because we got a late start. We had time to just stretch and play,” Spencer said. “Proud of the focus that they had getting off the bus and coming right here with the focus of doing what they need to do to win.”
The Wildcats sped the pace of the game fast early in the 1st quarter. Because of that, seniors Tedric Partinger scored seven points with Demarco Chatman adding four points and junior Andreyous Miller, who knocked down a 3-pointer, added five points for a 16-5 lead. The Raiders rallied as they got 3-pointers from seniors Braydon Bell and Jordan Burden with a traditional three-point play from Trevor Blair as they cut their deficit down to 21-17 at the end of the first.
Senior Devin Roteen’s basket cut the Raiders’ deficit down to two, 21-19. Miller quickly scored four points off a basket and an inbounds pass turnover along with Chatman’s three points quickly extended their lead back to eight, 29-21. Chatman’s nine points in the quarter, scoring six in a row, helped Franklin-Simpson to their first double digit lead of the game, 35-25. Hart County senior Travis Shuffitt’s 3-pointer at the end of the 1st Half making the score 35-28 at halftime with Franklin-Simpson leading.
The Wildcats came out of the locker room playing again at a fast pace which helped them increase their lead in the 3rd Quarter. Baskets by senior Logan Lacouture along with Chatman and Miller with a traditional three-point play from Partinger made the score 44-34. The Raiders battled back as they scored seven straight points with four in a row from Blair and Shuffitt’s second 3-pointer of the game. Stutzman answered back with a 3-pointer, scoring five points in a row. But with baskets from Roteen and junior Julian Barbour, Franklin-Simpson; led 49-45 at the end of three.
Franklin-Simpson extended their lead to nine with free throws by Chatman and Miller’s 3-pointer. Hart County tried for one more run but they Wildcats took advantage at the free throw line as they made 12 of their 14 shots, with Partinger making five, as they extended their lead to as high as 16 points. Freshman DeMarcus Hogan and Gabe Jones added baskets late as the Wildcats advanced to the championship game of the Class 2-A Tournament Sectionals with a 74-62 victory over the Raiders.
“We came into the game practicing our free throws and I had to step in for the team and make them when I was at the line,“ Tedric Partinger said. “Overall, we knew from the jump that they were not as athletic as us so we had to speed them up to make them play with us.”
“Teddy (Partinger) shot it well from the free throw line. Super proud of him,” spencer said. “He’s put in the work. It has bothered him that he wasn’t making free throws. We made a little adjustment but he stepped to the line and made them tonight. If we can shoot like that from the free throw line every night, we are winning some ball games. That’s our goal. Become better free throw shooters as a team and that happened tonight.”
Andreyous Miller and Tedric Partinger led all scorers with a game high of 18 points each with Demarco Chatman and Kyjuan Stutzman each adding 15 points for the Wildcats.
“For us to win, it is always going to take a team effort,” Spencer said. “Anytime that you can get four guys in double figures, we are playing well offensively. We have other guys stepping up too.”
Trevor Blair led the Raiders with 13 points and Jordan Burden added 10 points.