VANDALIA – Franklin Monroe shot the ball at a blistering pace in the first half but cooled late in the third quarter, allowing Preble Shawnee to tie the game heading into the final quarter, and the Arrows made enough plays to upset the Jets 62-56 in Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament basketball.
Mason Conley got to the rim for 4 points and two triples, one each from Parker Hesler and Ethan Conley, gave the Jets a 12-8 first quarter lead.
Ethan Conley had a monster second quarter, connecting on three straight triples while scoring 13 points, 18 for the half, to help widen the Jets lead to 32-25.
Preble Shawnee countered after the break by going to a diamond-and-one defense to try and slow down Ethan Conley, and for the most part it worked as the Arrows slowly climbed back into the game.
It was a frustrating night for senior Kameron Thurmond. His mere presence of just walking onto the floor seemed to elicit a foul, and the Jets were unable to establish an inside game, making it difficult to get easy buckets.
Hesler finally dialed in a couple of triples, scoring 8 points in the third quarter … but by now Preble Shawnee tied the game at 43 heading into the final stanza.
Preble Shawnee made one more adjustment in the fourth quarter, employing a triangle-and-two defense focused on shutting down both Hesler and Ethan Conley.
Franklin Monroe again attempted to get Thurmond involved as he scored his fourth point early on … but moments later he fouled out.
Preble Shawnee grabbed the lead 51-49 with 4:58 to go, and the Arrows would never trail the rest of the game.
The Jets had a few opportunities late to make it a one possession game, but they were just unable to knock down shots, and the Arrows sent FM home early in the tournament with a 62-56 defeat.
The Jets were led by Ethan Conley with 21 points, Hesler had 14 and Mason Conley 8.
Franklin Monroe’s season concluded with a 16-7 record.
“We were knocking down shots in the first half that allowed us to get the lead, but it was a flip of the script in the second half,” Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said. “Shots just didn’t fall and they hit some timely shots from guys who don’t typically make them and that was the difference.
“We didn’t get many second opportunities, and they did a good job of taking away our penetration in the second half. We just didn’t have enough guys to help pick up the slack tonight,” Myers said.
Myers was trying to digest it all and the pain was evident the Jets didn’t expect it to end just yet.
“For all the work these guys have put in collectively and I’m not scared to say, it’s a lot work and they have shouldered it so well, and for it to end abruptly like this … well, it hurts bad, worse than any before,” Myers said.
“We felt this team could make a run. I just don’t have the words to describe the pain right now … but if we had another fight I would take these guys with me in a heartbeat. It stings; I know it stings them, and I hope for the guys coming back they use it as motivation and get right back out there and start working for next year,” Myers concluded.
Score by quarters:
PS …. 08 … 17 … 18 … 19 – 62
FM … 12 … 20 … 11 … 13 – 55
Worley 1, Lewis 11, Katring 10, Thompson 16, Moore 2, Bates 17, Monnin 3, Conway 2
Totals 5-16-15/24 – 62
Ressler 1, M. Conley 8, E. Conley 21, Filbrun 2, Hesler 14, Cable 5, Thurmond 4
Totals 8-11-9/14 – 56
PS – 5 (Ketring 2, Thompson 2, Lewis)
FM – 8 (E. Conley 4, Hessler 4)