The Franklin-Simpson Lady Cats and Wildcats basketball teams traveled up 31-W to Woodburn to play the South Warren Spartans in a doubleheader.
Both games were about 2nd Half runs as the Lady Spartans and the Wildcats took control of their games for victories last Thursday night.
South Warren 74
Wildcats’ junior Kyjuan Stutzman scored a team high of 23 points with seniors Demarco Chatman scoring 19 points and Tedric Partinger adding 11 points as they overcame a 12-point 2nd Half deficit to defeat the South Warren Spartans 78-74.
“Our guys came out and competed,” Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. “We’ve been talking about our basketball I.Q. over the last three days and they responded. They did what we asked for them to do. They took care of the ball and we always play hard. We finally put it together. Kyjuan (Stutzman), Demarco (Chatman) and Tedric (Partinger) did a good job of leading us tonight and everyone played a key part in this win. That’s all you can ask for.”
“We played as a team and got this big win. It’s a big one for us because we played hard,” Kyjuan Stutzman said. “We figured it out in the 2nd half and then once we got going, there was no stopping us from getting that ‘W’.”
Stutzman scored the first four points of the game in eight seconds as Franklin-Simpson led 6-0. But South Warren caught fire from beyond the 3-point line as seniors Caleb Mitchell-Franklin and Parker Stobaugh along with juniors Jace Carver and Tayshaun Jones hit a barrage of 3-pointers to take a 17-14 lead. But Stutzman made his second 3-pointer of the game along with one from freshman Jalen Briscoe, who was celebrating his birthday, which tied the game at 21-21 at the end of the first.
Chatman’s traditional three-point play gave the Wildcats a 24-23 lead in the 2nd Quarter. Jones responded with a 3-pointer of his own that gave the lead back to the Spartans, 26-24. They were able to extend their lead thanks to Mitchell-Franklin scoring eight points in the quarter. Senior Dawson Knight knocked down a 3-pointer for Franklin-Simpson but so did Carver for South Warren as they led 39-33 at halftime.
Carver and sophomore Caden Veltkamp each drained a pair of 3-pointers as the Spartans extended their lead to 62-50 in the 3rd Quarter. Then the game quickly changed as with a 3-pointer from Briscoe and a traditional three-point play from Partinger, the Wildcats scored the final eight points of the quarter that made the score 62-58 and all the momentum with them into the 4th Quarter.
Junior Andreyous Miller’s 3-pointer with Chatman’s traditional three-point play in the beginning of the 4th Quarter helped Franklin-Simpson to score 16 unanswered points since the middle of the 3rd Quarter for a 66-62 lead, their first lead of the game since early in the 1st Quarter.
“The guys didn’t quit,” Spencer said. “I’ve said all the time to not pay attention to the scoreboard, just go out there and play. Give them credit as they continued to play hard and I am proud of them. I think the key was that we rebounded better in the 2nd Half.”
The game would be tied two more times until Jones ‘ 3-pointer gave South Warren a 72-68 lead. Chatman converted his second traditional three-point play and Stutzman’s 3-pointer from the top of the key gave them a 75-72 lead. Franklin-Simpson was able to get some defensive stops, run some playing time during their offensive possessions and Paringer and Chatman made free throws down the stretch as they overcame a 12-point deficit in the 2nd half for the 78-74 come from behind victory over South Warren.
“We could have come out at halftime and dropped our heads at halftime but we didn’t,” Demarco Chatman said. “We will always fight back, no matter how far down we are. The game ain’t over until that final buzzer goes off in the fourth. We just kept fighting and it paid off. We were into it but got to have everybody in on the game from our bench and the fans.”
“Coach Spencer got into us at halftime and we had to come out and respond to them,” Tedric Partinger said. “This is a very big win for us. They beat us at home last time early in the season and tonight, we had to give it back to them.”
Caleb Mitchell-Franklin led all scorers with a game high of 25 points with Tayshaun Jones pouring in 16 points. Jace Carver scored 12 points with Caden Veltkamp adding 10 points.
South Warren 63
Juniors Alera Barbee led the Lady Cats with 11 points with Kate Norwood adding 10 points as second half shooting would be their undoing as they lost 63-36 to the Lady Spartans.
“I really liked the kids’ effort in the 1st Half as they played really hard. It may have been a situation where we were overlooked a bit as South Warren missed some shots they would normally make,” Lady Cats head coach Lex Lindsey said. “We came out in the 3rd Quarter and they made some shots that they missed in the 1st Half and that hurt our enthusiasm, our energy level and we’re not good enough to win when we play like that. They trapped us on the perimeter and consequentially, we only scored 11 points in the 2nd Half. Hats off to South Warren as they hit some shots to create some separation to win this game.”
Four lead changes occurred in the 1st Quarter as Barbee led the lady Cats and in her first game back coming off a minor injury, senior Evyn McCutchen added three points for Franklin-Simpson. Seniors Taylor Enlow scored five points with Brooke Stevenson adding four points as South Warren led 13-10 at the end of one.
Senior Jessica Bush’s 3-pointer opened the 2nd Quarter as the Lady Spartans led 16-10. The Lady Cats answered with 3-pointers of their own as junior Kate Norwood drained two and freshman Conleigh Wilson knocked down one as well as they took a 19-18 lead. Barbee and McCutchen added baskets along with two free throws from Norwood. but with freshman Gracie Hodges’ basket and five points from Enlow, the game was tied at 25-25 at halftime.
2nd Half shooting woes plagued Franklin-Simpson as McCutchen made the only shot from the floor in the 3rd Quarter. Her basket along with two free throws from Barbee made the score 31-29 early in the third. South Warren closed the quarter on a 13-1 run as Stevenson, Bush and sophomore Elly Bennett made 3-pointers as they led 44-30 at the end of the third.
Barbee and Wilson scored baskets early on for Franklin-Simpson as they trailed 45-34. But junior Emily Reynolds scored eight points with Enlow along with her younger sister, sophomore Carrie Enlow, and freshman Lydia Grank each scoring a basket as they extended their lead to 61-34. Freshman Le Le Partinger scored the final basket for the Lady Cats as points for them were hard to come by in the 2nd Half as they lost to South Warren 63-36.
“The girls picked up the pace defensively in the 2nd Half. I was pleased on how we executed the defensive game plan that we talked about at halftime,” Lady Spartans head coach Lane Embry said. “Taylor Enlow works super hard and fights hard every day in practice and in games just like all our girls do. I’m proud of them and tonight was her night. Proud of her the way she handled herself and battled tonight.”
Taylor Enlow led all scorers with a game high of 16 points, as she was the only player that scored in double figures for the Lady Spartans.