PITSBURG — The Franklin Monroe Jets led from the opening tip with consistent scoring, defeating the visiting Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks 63-47.
“This is a different team than last year,” FM varsity boys basketball coach Troy Myers said. “This year they find a way to grind, and you see that neon energy every day. It’s contagious, and it comes from the fans, too. I am so appreciative of them on a Tuesday night to show up.”
The Jets jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first minute of play with a Travis Feitshans bucket and a Marcus Horner stick-back.
FM doubled the score at 16-8 to close out first quarter play on the scoring of nine Feitshans first quarter points while Dalton Rinderle was dropping in five points for the Hawks.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game. Last year we played them twice, and they have everybody back this year,” MV varsity coach Rodney Saintignon said. “They are a great team. They play with a lot of class. It was tough for us stopping Feitshans underneath.”
Both teams picked up the second quarter pace with the Jets putting 18 points on the board and the Hawks adding 17 points.
Carson Stump hit back-to-back free throws, cutting the Jets’ lead to six at 6:57 in the second quarter at 18-12.
FM’s Zach Hyre, a 6-foot sophomore, knocked down a 3-pointer, giving the Jets a 21-12 lead followed with a Hawks trey from Cayden Cox, cutting the scoring spread back to six points at 21-15.
Horner kept up the game’s 3-point scoring, nailing a trey from deep in the corner and upping Franklin Monroe’s lead to 24-15 at 4:45.
FM maintained its nine-point lead at 28-19 on a Feitshans basket with an assist from Trey Mong before MV cut the lead to 28-23 at 1:48 in first half play.
A Mong stick-back and a turn-around jumper in the lane had FM leading 32-23 late in the first half. The Jets held a 34-25 lead at the halfway point of the game.
Mississinawa opened second half play with a Stump full-court lay up and a Dakota Hines goal, reducing the Jets’ lead to five at 34-29 with 6:32 on the third quarter clock but would prove to be as close as the score would be as the Jets outscored the Hawks 29-18 the remainder of the game.
“You have to give credit to Rodney (Saintignon) and Brian (Rehmert) for the plan that they had,” Myers said. “Their guards got to the paint and created some problems. We shored it up in the second half and got a lot better on the defensive end.”
The Jets took their first double-digit lead of the night on a Horner free throw at 3:58 in the third quarter with the score standing at 41-31.
FM held a 53-39 lead at the end of three, the result of a balanced scoring attack with five players putting points on the board.
FM reached its 16 point margin of victory at 6:54 in the final quarter with Horner laying in a drive to the basket and a free throw for a 55-39 lead.
“We have to work on stopping their big men a little more,” Saintignon said. “They shot well outside, too, so I got to give them a lot of credit. We played hard; our guys play hard.”
With each team putting up eight points down the stretch, the Jets put another “W” in the win column, defeating Cross County Conference foe Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks 63-47.
“It’s somebody different every night,” Myers said. “It can be Max-V (Martin Maksvytis) that’s putting in 15, could be (Devin) Fourman putting in 20 and then you have Trav (Travis Feitshans). The balance is really good.
“We didn’t have our best, especially in the offensive end tonight but still managed to get 63 points,” Myers said. “You find a way to put points on the board and fortunately for us it was Trav (Feitshans) tonight.”
Feitshans led all scorers with 21 points. The Blackhawks hit 80 percent at the charity stripe, going 8-of-10 while FM made 13-of-18 for 72 percent.
Franklin Monroe scoring FG 3-Pt FT Pts
Travis Feitshans 7 1 4-6 21
Marcus Horner 4 1 4-7 15
Zach Hyre 2 2-2 8
Trey Mong 3 2-2 8
Grant Brown 2 1-1 5
Devin Fourman 2 4
Henry Bourne 1 2
TOTALS 19 4 13-18 63
Mississinawa scoring FG 3-Pt FT Pts
Dane Blumenstock 6 5-6 17
Dalton Rinderle 3 2 12
Carson Stump 3 2-2 8
Dakota Hines 3 6
Cayden Cox 1 3
Devan Rinderle 1-2 1
TOTALS 15 3 8-10 47
Score by quarters
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Franklin Monroe 16 18 16 13 63
Mississinawa 8 17 12 10 47