Franklin-Simpson picked up two big wins in a varsity doubleheader at Clinton County. The theme of the night was "comeback" as the Wildcats made a comeback for the ages for their first victory of the season and the Lady Cats withstood a comeback for their second win of the season.
Franklin-Simpson 46, Clinton County 45
For the first 17:48 of the game, the Wildcats couldn't make shots and fell behind by as much as 26 points. But in the final 14:12 of the game, they snatched away a victory from the jaws of defeat as they pulled off a comeback for the ages to come away with an one-point victory over the Bulldogs.
The iron was unkind for Franklin-Simpson as they scored only six points in the 1st Quarter with junior Andreyous Miller scoring four and senior Demarco Chatman adding two. Clinton County got six points from junior Nick Brown, five from senior Evan Derborn and four from senior Caleb Guffey as they led 17-6 after one.
The Wildcats shooting woes continued as they once again scored six points in the 2nd quarter with two each from Chatman and juniors Isaac Marshall and Kyjuan Stutzman. Guffey led the Bulldogs with six points with Brown adding four as they had a 35-12 lead at halftime.
"I got after them really, really hard at halftime and I challenged them," Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. "We had more turnovers than points. We played tentative and didn't compete. We missed a ton of layups and again, i got after them. Make shots and compete."
In the 3rd Quarter, Dearborn's 3-pointer gave Clinton County a 38-12 lead. With 6:12 remaining in the quarter, Franklin-Simpson's comeback for the ages began. It started with a 3-pointer from senior Dawson Knight who would make another one later in the quarter. Miller added four points with three from Stutzman and two from Partinger as they cut their deficit down to 15, trailing 42-27 heading into the fourth.
The Wildcats' turned up their pressure defense along with making shots and fatigued legs causing missed shots and turnovers by the Bulldogs had all of the ingredients for a comeback.
Stutzman hit a 3-pointer to open the quarter cut their deficit down to 12. Later, back to back 3-pointers from Miller put them to within seven, 43-36. After a basket by Guffey, which would be the only field goal made by Clinton County, Franklin-Simpson rolled off nine straight points as a basket by Miller along with free throws made by Chatman and Stutzman put them to within three, 45-42. Stutzman got a steal and a basket made the score 45-44 with 56 seconds left. The Bulldogs missed a free throw and the Wildcats took a timeout with 20.5 seconds left. They missed a shot but Miller's rebound and put back with four seconds left gave them a one-point lead, 46-45. Clinton County's final shot for the win was missed and the Franklin-Simpson outscored the Bulldogs 34-7 to erase a 26-point deficit for the 46-45victory.
"I'm super proud of the way they responded and did everything in the second half we talked about doing," Spencer said. "We used our full court press and it worked. We only had one practice to learn it but that's where experience comes into play. We tried to get everyone in the right place and let them play. Clinton /county's zone is tough. We couldn't make shots in the first half but in the second half, our confidence grew. Super proud of our freshman, Demarcus (Hogan). he came in and filled in for tedric (Partinger) when he fouled out and did a good job. Super proud of my team."
Andreyous Miller, who scored 10 points in the 4th quarter, led all scorers with a game high of 18 points with Kyjuan Stutzman adding 12. Nick Brown led Clinton County with 14 points with Claeb Guffey pouring in 12.
Franklin-Simpson 42, Clinton County 31
Junior Alera Barbee's game high of 14 points with freshman Hadley Turner's 12 led the Lady Cats to their second road victory of the season opening week of the high school basketball season.
"I feel like I did all right. My rebounding could have been better but overall, I think it was a good night," Alera Barbee said. "My team helped me a lot and
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they are the reason I am able to play well."
The Lady Cats took advantage of second chance points and scoring off defensive turnovers for a big lead in the 1st Quarter. They scored 14 unanswered points with Turner scoring six points and senior Evyn McCutchen and Barbee each scoring four for a 16-4 lead at the end of the first.
Franklin-Simpson maintained their double digit lead in the 2nd Quarter. Barbee and junior Kate Norwood provided all the scoring for eight points. Clinton County got two 3-pointers from junior Abbi Young and a basket by eight grader Landree Moon as they trailed 24-12 at halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs made a run in the 3rd Quarter as junior Jaleigh McIntrye and Moon hit 3-pointers and with foru points from freshman Ashton Daniels, the Lady Cats' lead went from 14 to four, 28-24. After a timeout, McCutchen hit a 3-pointer and freshman Conlegih Wilson's basket off of a steal made the score 33-26 after three.
Back to back traditional three-point plays by Turner and freshman Conleigh Wilson led the Lady Cats to extend their lead back to double digits. They were able to push their lead back to a game high of 14 points and withstood the Lady Bulldogs' comeback for the 42-31 victory.
"I was more aggressive tonight. I had the first game jitters at Monroe County," Conleigh Wilson said. "I wasn't expecting the "and one" in the fourth quarter but I've a;ways been pretty good at taking the ball from point A to point B."
"I've always hated big leads in the first half," Lady Cats head coach Lex Lindsey said. "The toughest thing to do is to play well with a big lead. We got out to a 16-point lead and we got selfish and quit playing together. We missed a bunch of shots, went through a four to five minute stretch where we didn't score. Had to remind them that we need to play together all of the time. Tonight, we played well in spots and we'll take this win and not giving it back."
Landree Moon led Clinton County with 11 points as she was the only player that scored in double figures for Clinton County.
Franklin-Simpson will play their first 13th District game of the season at the Logan County Cougars in a girls/boys varsity doubleheader. Tip-off time for the girls' game is at 6 p.m. with the boys game to follow. 1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast both games starting at 5:45 p.m. and on the internet on network1sports.com.