NEW MADISON – Tri-Village had a couple of records on the line while hosting Franklin Monroe Tuesday night with a capacity crowd on hand, despite the weather outside.
When these two schools get together, you know it’s going to be an intense contest.
Tri-Village had three records on the line — a 45-game regular season win streak, a perfect 15-0 record this year and a 9-0 conference mark as well as the No. 2 state ranking in Division IV.
None of that mattered to Franklin Monroe. In fact, it was just more motivation as the Jets fell three times to the Patriots last year, once in regular season, once at the Jet Holiday Tournament and once in the sectional tournament … motivation, there was plenty.
The Patriots jumped out on top early as Tyler Cook pounded inside for four of the Patriots’ seven points while holding Franklin Monroe in check for the first five plus minutes of the game.
Trey Mong got the Jets on the board on couple of free throws and followed with a fielder to make the score 9-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Mong started the second quarter with a soft right hook that was answered by Colton Linkous a few minutes later.
Marcus Horner and Zach Hyre both connected on back-to-back triples, and at 6:40 the Jets grabbed the lead 12-11 for the first time, bringing their fans onto their feet.
The Patriots went back to their strength in senior Tyler Cook, who scored the next two buckets and another by Damion Cook.
But Mong would strike again for the Jets with a tap in, then a basket and the foul to tie the game at 17.
Tri-Village Colton Linkous held in check for most of the game due to smothering defense by Marcus Horner got a couple of baskets as the lead went back and forth.
The scoring pace slowed over the last four minutes of the first half, and it was dual between Franklin Monroe’s Martin Maksvytis and Tri-Village’s Colton Linkous as they traded two field goals each. Then with two seconds to go Maksvytis was fouled on a three attempt and got three free throws to put the Jets up 25-21.
But an over aggressive play by the Jets on a Colton Linkous half-court shot turned the favor back, giving TV three free throws, and Linkous connected on all of them to bring the score to 25-24 at the break.
“I was really proud of our guys. They took a good punch in the mouth from Tri-Village at the start … but our guys showed up to compete and they overcame that,” FM coach Troy Myers said.
A good reason why the Jets were able to overcome the slow start was the play of senior Trey Mong, who scored 10 points in the first half and was all over the glass.
“Trey Mong played exceptional, especially in the first half,” TV coach Josh Sagester said. “He really kept them in the game and quite honestly dominated the game in the paint.”
Coach Myers agreed, “We talked to Trey over the summer and let him know that he had the ability to be a dominant player … but he had to mentally put himself in that frame of mind.
“He came in with the mindset this was his last year, and he wanted to prove that he could be that player and he really is coming into his own.”
The third stanza was another tight back and forth affair and with the score knotted at 31-31 Zach Hyre hit his second of three treys on the night to send FM back up 34-31.
To make matters worse for the Patriots, Damion Cook picked up his fourth foul and would eventually foul out…hampered by foul trouble throughout he was unable to be much of a factor in the contest.
In the final stanza Franklin Monroe’s senior laden squad showed their experience led by Travis Feitshans.
Feitshans, who had been held scoreless for the game, showed up and scored seven points within three minutes to help keep the Patriots at bay including an old-fashioned three at 1:49 to give the Jets a 50-36 lead.
“Travis struggled a little tonight, but he understands how the game is progressing and knows when the ball needs to be in his hands. He stayed aggressive and sort of took over late in the game, but that’s the type of player he is,” Myers said.
Tri-Village was able to finally hit a few outside shots late in the game, but the Jets were able to pull out the 54-46 win.
Tri-Village, who had been averaging 69 points a game, was held 23 points below that average, and a lot that was due to an aggressive and relentless defensive effort by Franklin Monroe and in particular Marcus Horner.
“Marcus is one of those guys that is very quite and other teams sort of lose track of him. But he is a different kind of leader who plays tremendous defense, and when he has the ball in his hands he knows how to run our team and help us execute, and he did that well tonight,” Myers said.
“A lot has been said about this game tonight, and it was a great atmosphere with lot on the line … but their approach is the same no matter who they are playing,” Myers said about his team’s mental approach.
“We can’t take a night off, we have to be ready to play every game, even when you are playing a team with a bad record because if they beat you it’s a big game for them. We don’t want to get caught in a trap game by overlooking anybody, so we take it a game at a time,” he said.
“I’m just so proud of our guys tonight. They came in here got down battled back and got the win,” Myers concluded.
Coach Sagester was complimentary of Franklin Monroe, “I thought they just out played us, to be quite honest with you. They deserved the win tonight and hats off to them
“We didn’t make any perimeter shots, you don’t make any perimeter shots in your home gym you’re not gonna beat anybody let alone a really good team like them
“You can tell their veterans; you can tell they’ve been in these situations; they battled and out-played us tonight,” Sagester concluded.
The win by the Jets ended the Patriots 45-game regular season win streak and added a blemish to their record this year to go to 15-1 and 9-1 the conference.
With the win Franklin Monroe goes to 16-1 and sits in the driver seat as the frontrunner for the Cross County Conference crown at 9-0 … but still has to play Bethel on Feb. 14 at the Hangar.
FM’s Trey Mong led all scorers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Colton Linkous scored 19 and Tyler Cook 17 for the Patriots.
Score by quarters:
FM..04…21…11…18 – 54
TV…09…15…09…13 – 46
Franklin Monroe (15-1, 9-0)
Fourman 5, Horner 5, Hyre 9, Feitshans 7, Maksvytis 8, Mong 20
Totals 4 - 13 -16/22 - 54
Tri-Village (15-1, 9-1)
VanWinkle 3, Bell 4, D. Cook 3, Linkous 19, T. Cook 17.
Totals 2 - 15 - 10/12 – 46