UNION CITY – When two teams are struggling, coaches circle their schedule knowing that when they meet it will be a big game, especially when you are teaching kids how to win games.
That played out on Saturday in the match up with Franklin Monroe when the Lady Jets visited Mississinawa Valley.
The Blackhawks were quick out the gate and rode the horse inside as Kelsie Hunt put up eight big points in the opening quarter. The Blackhawks jumped on top 12-4 to start the game.
“Our struggle to knock down open shots got us into a deep hole to start the game,” Franklin Monroe girls basketball coach Abbey Moore said.
The Jets, while slow to start, kicked on the after burners in the second quarter as point guard Allyson Masterson scored seven points by attacking the rim.
Freshman Kennedy Morris gave the Jets the lead for the first time in the game at 1:52 with a layup, making 19-18, and that’s the way the first half would end.
“I felt like when we picked up the intensity on the defensive end in the second quarter it led to transition opportunities on the offensive end and gave the girls confidence, and we got back into the game,” Moore said.
Mississinawa went back up 24-19 in the third quarter on back to back fielders from Madison Stachler … but the Jets bounced back and went ahead 25-24.
MV coach John Hershey needed a timeout to regroup. Olivia Murphy scored on a layup inside, and a free throw by Bailey Johnson helped the Hawks regain the lead 27-26 to end the third quarter.
Mississinawa would go up 34-27 in the early part of the third quarter off a trey from Sidnie Hunt, a fielder form Kelsie Hunt and free throws by Kylie Willis with 3:42 to go.
The Jets had a never-die mentality in this one, and they would make some big plays to keep the game within reach.
Kinsey Goins battled inside, and the Hawks had trouble defending her … she would score seven of her game-high 13 points in the quarter. And when Danielle McVey scored on a 17 footer the Jets trailed 35-34 with 1:29 to go.
But the Hawks would make some big free throws from Willis and Stachler to close the door on a hard-charging Jets team down the stretch to win it 38-36.
“I’m really proud of the kids … we had some moments where we lost our focus and stopped doing what was successful,” Mississinawa Valley coach John Hershey said.
“They really wanted this win and kept it together during critical moments when the game was on the line … everyone stepped up,” Hershey concluded.
Kelsie Hunt led the way for the Hawks with a double-double, 12 points and 12 rebounds. Stump and Willis each had three steals in the win.
Mississinawa improved to 4-14 overall and 3-9 in the Cross County Conference. The Blackhawks will host Fairlawn on Thursday.
“While we were disappointed with the end result I was proud of my girls for battling their way back into the game never giving up with a chance to win it in the end,” Moore said.
“We have to continue to learn from our mistakes and gain confidence with the things that we do well,” Moore concluded.
Franklin Monroe was led by Goins double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Masterson had nine points and five assist for the Jets who fell to 2-15 overall and 2-9 in the CCC. They will play Coldwater today.
Score by quarters:
MV …12…06…09…11 – 38
FM …04…15…07…10 – 36
Mississinawa Valley (4-14, 3-9)
Mikayla Stump 1, Sidnie Hunt 4, Kylie Willis 5, Olivia Murphy 4, Kelsie Hunt 12, Leslie Dirksen 6, Madison Stachler 6 – Totals 1-13-9/17 – 38
Franklin Monroe (2-15, 2-9)
Allyson Masterson 9, Kennedy Morris 4, Carrie Baker 2, Tara Goubeaux 2, Kinsey Goins 13, Allie Armstrong 2, Danielle McVey 2 – Totals 1-12-5/12 – 36