The Franklin-Simpson Lady Cats and Wildcats' basketball teams hosted the Warren Central Dragons last Thursday and Friday night at the F-S Gym.
Franklin-Simpson 56,Warren Central 51
Lady Cats' freshman Hadley Turner scored a game high of 19 points with juniors Kate Norwood scoring 15 and Alera Barbee adding 10 points as they got their first home win of the season over the Lady Dragons.
"We had to play through some adversity as we knew we had to come out and play for the entire time," Hadley Turner said. "I had to step up. With only eight points after the 3rd Quarter, I had to toughen up especially when I sprained my ankle, I had to go out there and play because this was a tough game."
"We came out and we knew what we were up against. Same team we beat on my buzzer beater last season," Kate Norwood said. "Like Coach (Lindsey) said when we came out of the locker room, we're probably the two most improved teams in the region and tonight is going to show who is the most improved."
The Lady Cats jumped out to a nice lead in the 1st Quarter as Turner scored six points with Norwood adding five and Barbee contributing with four. Their pressure defense gave the Lady Dragons fits but junior Alyssa Conner's three points led a balanced attack for the Lady Dragons as they trailed 15-9 at the end of the first.
Senior Evyn McCutchen's four points with a 3-pointer from freshman /conleigh Wilson gave Franklin-Simpson their first double digit lead of the game, 26-15. McCutchen went on to score eight points for the quarter as Conner and senior Taelor Leach each scored four points for Warren Central as the Lady Cats led 30-21 at halftime.
Franklin-Simpson scored eight points in the quarter with two 3-pointers from Norwood. Senior Krisheana Johnson and junior La Auhni Lewis each scored five points for Warren Central as they cut their deficit down to six, 38-32 at the end of three.
The Lady Dragons opened the 4th Quarter on a 9-2 run with four free throws from freshman Kenneddee Robinson and a 3-pointer from junior Kyleigh Ray for their first lead of the game 41-40. Turner's free throw tied the game at 41-41 and Barbee's basket gave the lead back to the Lady Cats 43-41. Then Turner took over the rest of the game as she scored eight points to extend their lead to as high as seven points. Robinson and Ray each scored six points for Warren Central but it would not be enough as Franklin-Simpson prevailed 56-51.
"I'm glad that we had the double digit lead before the drought hit. You see it a lot in games where the team that is behind and they catch up. Then they take their foot off the gas and momentum shifted and that's when we were able to get out to an eight point lead and win by five," Lady cats head coach Lex Lindsey said. "We got some steals for some easy and unconventional baskets and momentum shifted. You can see the energy from the girls go up and that was the difference in the game."
Lewis led the Lady Dragons with 10 points as she was the only player to score in double figures.
Warren Central 71, Franklin-Simpson 59
Junior Kyjuan Stutzman led the Wildcats with 20 points with senior Demarco Chatman scoring 14 points and junior Andreyous Miller adding 13 as they couldn't take advantage of opportunities late to take the lead as the Dragons pulled away for the 12-point win.
"I feel like my guys competed every second of the game," Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. "We just got to figure out ways to finish around the bucket. I think that was the difference of the game. We needed to get a couple of stops and get some rebounds in the 2nd Half for some putbacks. They kept their lead at bay but I love my guys and they gave everything they had. We'll take that every night from them."
In the 1st Quarter, Chatman scored five points with Stutzman scoring four points and Miller adding three. Warren Central led wire to wire as they jumped pout to a double digit lead thanks to five 3-pointers, four by senior Kobe Brents. His 12 points helped them to a 21-13 lead at the end of the first.
Seniors Geovanni Floyd scored eight points with five points each from Brents and Muleka. Stutzman scored nine points for Franklin-Simpson. Miller added four points and with senior Dawson Knight's 3-pointer, they trailed 39-32 at halftime.
In the 3rd Quarter, the Wildcats found themselves down by double digits early with four points from Floyd and a traditional three-point play from senior D'Andre Boyd. Trailing 46-35, Franklin-Simpson ignited a run, started by Knight's 3-pointer, his second of the game. Chatman also nailed a 3-pointer and five points from Stutzman got them to within one, 48-47. Brent's 3-pointer at the end of the quarter gave Warren Central a 51-47 heading into the fourth.
Chatman's basket early in the 4th Quarter once again put the Wildcats once again to within two, 51-49. But they couldn't get over the hump to get the lead. Chatman and Miller each scored four points but Boyd scored 12 points, eight from the free throw line as they pulled away at the end for the 71-59 victory.
"We were a possession or a stop away from getting the lead," Spencer said. "I felt like the three by (Kobe) Brents at the end of the third really helped them. It put them up by four but the guys will learn from this and get better because of it."
"Ugly win for us tonight," Dragons head coach William Unseld said.. "We were up 13 and we let them back in the game by not making free throws. It's good to win a game when you go 14 of 30 from the free throw line. The game would have been a lot different if we made our free throws. The game got stagnant as missing free throws is like making a turnover. But it was a good game for us to play and win. You have to win some games like that."
Kobe Brents scored a game high of 21 points with six 3-pointers for the Dragons with D'Andre Boyd pouring in 15 and Geovanni Floyd adding 14.
"We have a lot of seniors with experience that has played in big basketball games," Unseld said. "We didn't panic. I didn't panic and I wanted them to play through some of that. A loss early in the season is not a bad loss. You will learn from that. I want them to figure out how to win games without me yelling them out because they will have to do that at some time. Tonight,they answered the bell, got some stops and rebounds and made free throws when we needed to."