PITSBURG – Franklin Monroe and Dixie squared off in a good old-fashioned slugfest that went the distance, and in the end the Jets won the decision by a score of 58-48.
Kyle Ressler and Parker Hesler both took big swings, knocking down triples in the opening frame, and after round one the Jets led on the judges’ scorecard 10-7.
Ethan Conley went to work in the second frame, doing work inside and taking blows along the way getting to the free throw line. He would go 5-for-6 from the stripe and score 9 points to help Franklin Monroe to a 25-20 lead at the break.
Just like in any good fight you can expect your opponent to counter, and that’s what Dixie did after the break. The Greyhounds’ defense held strong, limiting the Jets to just 5 points in the third round while scoring 9 and slipping the Jets’ defense to trail by 1, 30-29.
In the final round Dixie landed a big punch to take a 31-30 lead early.
But the Jets corner man and coach Troy Myers rallied his fighters by attacking the pressure and getting his team to the free throw line. The Jets would go 16-for-18 in the fourth quarter and 21-for-31 for the game.
Ethan Conley and Hesler provided most of the punching power in the final stanza with Conley scoring 11 points and Hesler 9 as the Jets won the non-conference clash 58-48.
“It was a grind tonight … but I’m proud of all our kids because we found a way to win in a grueling dual,” Coach Myers said.
“I thought we had a chance to run away in the second half, but we just didn’t defend well and they made shots,” the Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach added.
In any fight, you must keep your mental focus, and sometimes that’s tough when you’re taking blows and at times the Jets lost that focus.
“We had 18 turnovers,” Myers said. “That is unacceptable … but fortunately we had 40 rebounds so they kind of offset each other our guys got on the glass helping us get extra possessions.
“Eighteen turnovers, it’s way too many,” Myers said. It has to be cleaned up. It wasn’t just one or two guys, it was the whole team. That is a discipline thing and unacceptable this late in the season, the type of thing that will get you beat in tight games.
“We are in a slump right now, and I hope we can get it corrected because we have three games in six days,” Myers said. “We’ll need to step it up.”
The Jets were led by Ethan Conley with 23 points, Hesler added 16 and Kameron Thurmond doing dirty work inside had 8 in the decision.
Franklin Monroe is now 9-8 overall and 6-3 in the conference and will travel to Lewisburg on Tuesday in a Cross County Conference game with Tri-County North.
Score by quarters:
DIX … 07 … 13 … 09 … 19 – 48
FM … 10 … 15 … 05 … 28 – 58
DIX – Arnett 3, Zammit 6, Shockey 10, Worley 24, Grub 5
Totals 3-12-9/18 – 48
FM – Ressler 5, M. Conley 4, Hesler 16, Cable 2, E. Conley 23, Thurmond 8
Totals 3-14-21/31 – 58
DIX – 3 (Arnett, Zammit, Worley)
FM – 3 (Hesler 2, Ressler)