NEW MADISON – Ansonia held off a furious run by Franklin Monroe in the last 1:50 to play and held on to win the consolation game 48-44 in the Lady Patriots’ Bill Burkett basketball tournament.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 26-19 halftime lead on the hot hand of Brooke Neal, who scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the first half.
“I told our kids at halftime if we let them hang around we will give them confidence,” Ansonia head coach Jim Bolin said.
That statement would prove to be accurate as the Jets made a run at the Tigers in the third quarter.
Franklin Monroe won the third quarter 12-8 on the strength of junior Allyson Masterson, who drove to the basket for a couple of scores to get the Jets within a point. Moments later sophomore Kinsey Goins scored inside to tie the game at 31.
Neal for Ansonia connected on her third triple of the night to end the third quarter with Ansonia leading 34-31.
The Tigers got it going again early in the final stanza and slowly built their lead back up 46-36 with just over 1:50 to play.
But the Jets weren’t done. They could have easily packed it in … instead they ramped up the pressure and rattled the young Tigers, who turned the ball over three straight possessions, and Franklin Monroe capitalized to close the gap to 46-42.
FM got another turnover and called a timeout with 40 seconds to play. Out of the timeout the Jets executed a perfect set called by coach Abbey Moore with a pass over the top to 6-foot 1-inch junior Hannah Eley for a fielder to get the Jets within two, trailing 46-44.
There was not dramatic finish for the hard charging Jets as Ansonia weathered the storm and made a couple of free throws to survive with a 48-44 win.
“We played good, and we played bad,” Bolin said. “We lost our composure at times, but we are still pretty young. We had a 10-point lead a couple of times but couldn’t hold it.
“Give them credit (FM), they took advantage of our mistakes, but we came away with the win,” Bolin added.
“We have got great potential, but we need to learn how to take care of the ball. We haven’t seen our full potential yet … but we will get there,” Bolin concluded.
“I’m extremely proud of my girls right now and the effort they put forth,” first-year FM coach Abbey Moore said. “We turned it up defensively in the second half, and the girls did exactly what I asked of them. And I think with a little more experience throughout the year we’ll see improvements in that part of our game and learn how to finish.
“Am I disappointed we didn’t win … I sure am! I’m a competitive person and I told the girls that’s a lesson we got to learn. They haven’t had a whole lot of success the past few years, and it’s OK to be disappointed you didn’t win this game. I told them I’m extremely proud right now to be your coach the way you played today,” Moore said.
“The great thing about basketball at this point of the season is you live to play another day. It’s not one and done like tournament, and we get to play Ansonia again on Tuesday. You better believe we are going to get after it from the beginning and be ready to go,” Moore concluded.
Neal led Ansonia with 19 points and a two-game total of 26 points to earn a spot all the all-tournament team.
Franklin Monroe was led by Kinsey Goins with 11 points and Allyson Masterson with 10.
Score by quarters:
ANS…11…15…08…14 – 48
FM.…07…12…12…13 – 44
Brooke Neal 19, Jailyn Thwaits 8, Bailey Stammen 7, Abby Helmke 3, Stefani Garrett 4, Aliya Barga 7
Franklin Monroe (0-2)
Allyson Masterson 10, Kennedy Morris 4, Carrie Baker 6, Kinsey Goins 11 and Hannah Eley 8
ANS: 4 (Stover 3, Stammen 1)
FM: 1 (Baker)