The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats dropped their first road 13th District game of the season as they lost 64-57 to the defending 13th District Tournament champions, the Logan County Cougars.
"The environment here is always tough and it is nothing that we did not expect," Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. "We knew what to expect, it is just a matter of coming here and playing a complete 32 minutes."
"I thought we executed pretty well," Cougars head coach John Tinsley said. "Franklin-Simpson is a good basketball team with a lot of experience returning. I was pleased with our execution especially on the defensive end. I thought we defended and rebounded well tonight."
Wildcats' junior Kyjuan Stutzman got into rhythm early with six points in the 1st Quarter as he along with senior Tedric Partinger, who scored four points, helped them to an early lead. Seniors Jose Nazario and Dalton Thompson combined to score 11 points. Senior Nathaniel Vick scored a basket that gave the Cougars the lead, 18-15 at the end of the first.
Logan County junior Anthony Woodard picked up his second foul of the game, forcing him to go to the bench. But senior Jay Hardison stepped up as he and Vick each scored four points extended their lead to 29-21. Stutzman's five points led the Wildcats to cut their deficit down to 29-26. But Hardison drained two 3-pointers to a 35-28 lead at halftime.
Senior Dylan Basham's traditional three-point play in the 3rd Quarter gave Logan County an eight-point lead. 38-30. Franklin-Simpson got a break as Woodard picked up his third and fourth foul of the game, forcing him back to the bench. Senior Demarco Chatman led the comeback as his six points along with Stutzman's four helped them regain the lead, 43-42. Hardison's 3-pointer gave the Cougars the lead once again but the Wildcats took it back with a free throw from Demarcus Hogan and a basket by Stutzman. Logan County senior Brady Griggs' jumper at the end of the quarter gave them a 47-46 lead.
Basham scored seven straight points to open the 4th Quarter. Along with another basket by him and Rosario and a 3-pointer by Hardison, the Cougars led 61-48. Senior Dawson Knight combined for three 3-pointers but free throws from Hardison helped Logan County to the 64-57 13th District victory.
"Logan County took control of the game when Woodard went out," Spencer said. "It's one of those deals that when (Jay) Hardison got going, it was hard to stop him. We were pressing and he got open looks. He made them so you have to give him credit."
Kyjuan Stutzman lead all scorers with a game high of 25 points with Demarco Chatman adding 10 for the Wildcats.
"Demarco (Chatman) and Andreyous (Miller) struggled all game long," Spencer said. "Give them credit for that especially (Jose) Nazario for that. He did a great job of getting in them and once he got inside their head, it was tough for them to get going."
Anthony Woodard, last season's leading scorer, was held to three points. But Jay Hardison led the Cougars with 21 points with Jose Nazario scoring 13 points and Dylan Basham adding 12 to provide the necessary scoring for the district win.
"(Dylan) Basham and (Jay) Hardison were good offensively and Jose (Nazario) and Dalton (Thompson) did a really good job defending tonight," Tinsley said. "(Kyjuan) Stutzman is a really good player and he got going and they have a lot of weapons but to keep two in check throughout the game, they did a really good job."
Franklin-Simpson will host the Warren Central Dragons at the F-S Gym on Thursday night for a JV/Varsity doubleheader starting at 6:00 p.m.
1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast the game at around 7:15 p.m. The game will be streamed on the Internet on www.franklinfavorite.com and click on "WFKN" in the blue tool bar. Then click on the WFKN sports tab and press the play button.
F-S 15 13 18 11 57
LC 18 17 12 17 64
F-S (57) Stutzman 25, Chatman 10, Partinger 9,
Knight 6, Miller 6, Hogan 1
LC (64) Hardison 21, Nazario 13, Basham 12, Vick 8,
Thompson 5, Woodard 3, Gregg 2