The phrase “Nobody does Homecoming like Franklin-Simpson High School” still holds true, despite an ongoing pandemic, as the Wildcats celebrated 2021 Basketball Homecoming by sweeping their basketball doubleheader with the Monroe County Falcons last Friday night at the F-S Gym.
Metcalfe County 58
Coming off the bench, sophomore DeMarcus Hogan scored a career high of 22 points as the Wildcats overcame a 12-point 1st Quarter deficit to defeat the Falcons 65-58.
“It felt great scoring my career high and getting my shots to fall,” Hogan said. ”I just came into the game telling my teammates that we had to bring energy to get us back into the game.It was a great team win and gives us good confidence going into playing Bowling Green.”
Seniors Clayton Biggerstaff and Brandon Sheffield each sank a 3-pointer to lead the Falcons on an early 12-0 lead. After a lineup change for some fresh energy, the Wildcats responded with sophomore DeMarcus Hogan scoring sic points and sophomore Gabe Jones, who knocked down a 3-pointer, scoring five points. Senior Kadyn Lowe’s layup at the end of the 1st Quarter had Franklin-Simpson trailing 17-15 at the end of the first.
“The second group of guys came in and brought the energy that we needed and did what we asked them to do,” Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. “They came in and played hard and got us back in the game.”
The Wildcats’ defense picked up their intensity as they held Monroe County to six points. Senior Kyjuan Stutzman, who drained a 3-pointer, scored five points. Sophomore Connor Vincent’s basket gave Franklin-Simpson the lead and senior Andreyas Miller scored six points in a row late in the 2nd Quarter as Franklin-Simpson led 28-23 at halftime.
Stutzman buried two more 3-pointers and with Miller’s four points, the Wildcats extended their lead to none, 38-29. Senior Tucker Glass and sophomore Austen Arnett also made 3-pointers as the Falcons got to within two, 39-37. But Hogan scored eight points down the stretch, including two 3-pointers as Franklin-Simpson led 46-39 at the end of three.
Six more points from Hogan along with four from Miller as the Wildcats pushed their lead to as high as 12, 60-48. Monroe County made a late push as senior John Harlin scored nine points with four from Biggerstaff as they cut their deficit down to five, 62-57. But Lowe closed the show with a free throw and a layup off a defensive steal to preserve the Wildcats’ victory on Homecoming, 65-57.
“I’m happy with the wins but not satisfied with the way we started over the past three games,” Spencer said. “I feel like we come out lazy, being lackadaisical and have to get down just to get going. Come next week, we can not afford to do that.”
Along with Hogan’s career high in points, Miller scored 16 points and Stutzman added 13 points for Franklin-Simpson. Harlin led Monroe County with 15 points and Tucker Glass added 13 points.
GirlsF-S 51 Monroe County 37
Sophomore Hadley Turner scored her career high in points with 20 along with solid team defense led the Lady Cats to 51-37 victory.
“I came into the game ready to play, because we came off a bad loss,” Hadley Turner said. “When I saw the person who was guarding me, all I thought was I have to dominate the paint and the boards. Coming into the game at first, I thought I should at least have 10 points and five rebounds. Coach Ashley (Taylor) told us we have to have offensive rebounds and that’s what I did.Then I knew in the third quarter once I started to get hot, I was going to score at least my career high.Thanks to my teammates also for passing me the ball in the paint as well.”
The Lady Cats improved to 10-6 overall for the season while the Lady Falcon’s record dropped to 8-8 overall.
“Tonight was one of those hard nights where I want the girls to enjoy Homecoming but as a coach, that makes me nervous,” Lady Cats head coach Ashley Taylor said. “We are playing second instead of first but I thought they did a good job of flipping the switch and being ready to go at game time. This is a very good team win and it is something we can build off of.”
The Lady Cats had not played in eight days heading into their game. The 1st Quarter showed no signs of being rusty as defensively, they held the Lady Falcons scoreless for over seven minutes. Offensively, senior Alera Barbee scored six points with Turner adding four. Sophomore Le Le Partinger and Conleigh Wilson each drained a 3-pointer for a 16-0 lead. Monroe County senior Halee Deckard scored a basket late in the quarter as Franklin-Simpson led 16-2 at the end of one.
“We had two bad 1st Quarters against Barren County and Glasgow and that was our focal point heading into tonight’s game,” Taylor said. ”Tonight we had a great 1st Quarter and everything for us starts on the defensive end. When we sit down and guard, the offense will come.”
Turner’s big night continued as she scored five points with four points from senior Kate Norwood as the Lady Cats extended their lead to 26-10. Together, junior Malila Myatt and sophomore Paisley Ford scored all 14 points for the Lady Falcons but Partinger’s second 3-pointer of the game for Franklin-Simpson that came at the buzzer at the end of the 1st Half gave them a 29-16 lead.
Turner continued to be dominant for the Lady Cats in the paint as she scored eight points in the 3rd Quarter. Ford scored five points for the Lady Falcons along with two each from senior Ramsey Bartley and freshman Ella Finley. Barbee made two free throws late in the quarter as Franklin-Simpson led 39-25 at the end of the third.
The final eight minutes was a quarter of firsts for the Lady Cats as Norwood buried her first 3-pointer of the game early on and junior Damyah Hopson made her first 3-pointer of the season. With Turner’s three points, she scored her first 20-point game of her varsity career as Franklin-Simpson completed the Homecoming doubleheader sweep with their 51-37 victory over Monroe County.
“It was a fun night because I got to dress up for Homecoming. Then, I had to turn around and play and got the win tonight because our defense was on point,” Hopson said. “Making my first 3-pointer of the season was amazing. Thanks to my teammates and the crowd for hyping me up to take the shot.”
“This was an exciting night. I was nervous during the Homecoming ceremony and then had to come out and play,” Partinger said. “We’ve been practicing and preparing for this game. We didn’t have a good start against Glasgow but I’m happy tonight we did.”
Along with Turner’s career high in points, Kate Norwood also scored in double figures with 10 points for the Lady Cats. Paisley Ford led the Lady Falcons with 13 points.
The Lady Cats will compete in the upcoming 13th District Basketball Tournament that begins on Sunday at the F-S Gym. Game dates, opponents and times will be finalized by Thursday.
1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast all games featuring the Lady Cats and Wildcats during the postseason. The games will be streamed 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.