PITSBURG – The Franklin Monroe varsity boys basketball team opened the season Friday night with a talented Troy Christian team in an exciting game that was unable to be settled in four quarters.
Troy Christian outlasted the Jets in the overtime period, walking away with a 58-54 non-conference win.
Senior Kyle Cable had a fantastic start for Franklin Monroe, scoring 9 points to put the Jets on top 13-8 at the end of the first quarter.
It was apparent from the start the Eagles were going to make it very difficult for the Jets’ Ethan Conley to be a factor in the game by denying him the basketball, and when he did touch it there was plenty of help coming.
Kyle Ressler scored 5 points in the second quarter, Cable added a triple and Conley a couple of free throws as the Jets held onto a slim 23-20 lead at the half.
FM struggled to put the ball in the hole in the third quarter while the game plan for the Eagles was simple – get the ball inside to their 6-foot 9-inch senior big man James Anderson and let him go to work. He scored 10 of his game-high 25 points in the period to help wrestle the lead away from the Jets, taking a 39-31 lead.
Trailing 40-31 in the fourth quarter, senior Kyle Ressler helped the Jets surge by getting to the free throw line for 2 points then splitting a pair of defenders and dishing the ball to Jordan Rhoades for a fielder. Conley added a bucket to get the Jets within 2, 40-38, at the four-minute mark.
Anderson answered for Troy Christian, scoring 4 more points to go up 44-38.
Parker Hesler came up big over the next minute, scoring on a stick-back and moments later hitting a deep 3-pointer that was all net in front of an excited FM bench, pulling the Jets to within 1, 44-43.
TC extended its lead to 48-43 with just over a minute to go … but FM wasn’t through yet.
Cable, who led the Jets on the night with 19 points, scored inside and then Rhoades followed up his miss for a second-effort fielder that had the Jets knocking again, trailing 50-47 with 39 second to go.
Ressler then knocked down a huge game-tying triple at 50 to send it into overtime as the Hangar went wild.
In the overtime period Cable came out and hit a trey to give the Jets an early 53-50 lead and early control.
The Jets had opportunities to add to their lead … but late game legs and nerves got the best of them at the free throw line, going just 1-for-5 in overtime, opening the door back up for the Eagles.
With the Jets leading 54-53, Troy Christian junior Connor Case hit a big triple at the top of the key to put the Eagles back on top 56-54.
The Jets couldn’t answer were forced to foul. The Eagles made good at the stripe, escaping with 58-54 overtime win.
Cable led the way offensively for Franklin Monroe with 19 points and Ressler had 13.
The Franklin Monroe coach was unavailable for comments.
Next up the Jets will host non-conference foe Milton-Union on Tuesday.
Score by quarters
FM … 13 … 10 … 08 … 19 … 04 – 54
TC …. 08 … 12 … 19 … 11 … 08 – 58
Franklin Monroe – Kyle Ressler 13, Bryce Filbrun 1, Jordan Rhoades 4, Zach Cable 19, Cole McGlinch 5, Parker Hesler 6, Ethan Conley 6
Totals: 7-12-9/17 – 54
Troy Christian – Anderson 25, Strine 4, Tanden 2, Frantam 7, Varkel 2, Case 7, Kremer 11
Totals – 5-16-11/17 – 58
FM – 7(Cable 3, Ressler 2, McGlinch, Hesler)
TC – 5(Kremer 3, Frantam, Case)