PITSBURG – The Franklin Monroe boys basketball team trailed Covington by 4 points after giving up 20 in the first quarter. But the Jets finished the first half and started the second half strong pulling away from the Buccs for a 63-43 Cross County Conference win.
The Jets started the game up on a 5-0 run and by the 3:28 mark led 14-5 before the Buccaneers went on an 10-0 run to grab the lead 15-14 with 55 seconds to play in the 1st quarter.
Covington extended their lead to 20-14 as with balanced scoring as Wes Gooding scored 6, Jake Hamilton 5, Owen Boehringer 4, Tyler Alexander 3 and Cooper Jay 2 in the opening frame.
But a triple by Aidan Luchini at the buzzer pulled the Jets to within a score 20-17. The Jets hit 5 triples, Gabe Sargent 2, Aidan Luchini, Cavin Baker and Jace Byers each had 1 in the quarter.
Covington’s lead grew to 26-19 by the four minute mark in the 2nd quarter when the Jets, and notably Cavin Baker,took over goingon an 11-0 run. Baker scored 9 of the 11 points to put the Jet’s on top 30-26 at the break.
Franklin Monroe found themselves down by 7 in the first quarter but recovered nicely and finished the half strong with a run of their own pleasing FM Coach Troy Myers.
“A year ago, we wouldn’t have withstood that run in the first half, I’ll give Covington a lot of credit. Their length, they were doing some good things to take away our stuff in the first half. But I also give a lot of credit to our kids because a year ago we didn’t have the maturity to withstand that run,” Myers praised.
FM continued to play solid in the early part of the 3rd quarter as well slowly building on their lead with Aiden Luchini knocking in 8 points, Gabe Sargent 5 and Baker 2 as the Jet’s went up 45-34.
The Jet’s knocked down two more triples in the final stanza by Jace Byers and Ky Cool, in total they hit 11 triples on the night it was too much for the Buccaneers with FM posting the 63-43 win.
The 11 triples made in the game was no surprise to coach Myers, not normally the focal point of their offense … but something he knew they were going to have to do to win the game.
“We knew coming in we were going to attempt more three’s than we like … but the 2-3 zone Covington plays forces you to take some and we have kids who can put it in the hole from the perimeter and fortunately we knocked enough of them down,” Myers stated.
For Myers it was a welcome relief to win a game without it going down to the wire. The last two wins by the Jets came at the buzzer with a one point win last night against Bethel on a triple by Gabe Sargent with 2 seconds left in the game and a 1 point win against Miami East.
“I think the 3 or 4 minutes prior to halftime and after halftime was the difference in the game tonight,” Myers said after the game. “I think we are finding the right way to play, last year we didn’t find that enough. If you grind and do the things right good thingshappen and that’s proving out right now,” Myers concluded.
The Jets were led by Cavin Baker on a game high 20 points, Aiden Luchini and Gabe Sargent each had 15 in the win. FM improves to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the CCC and will play again Wednesday night hosting the Houston Wildcats.
Score by Quarters:
COV 20 … 06 … 08 … 09 – 43
FM 17 … 13 … 15 … 18 – 63
COV – Humphrey 2, Hamilton 8, Boehringer 7, Ballard 4, Gooding 11, Cooper 5, Alexander 6, Maxson 1; Totals 3-13-8/14 – 43
FM – Cool 5, Baker 20, Wright 2, Byers 6, Sargent 15, Luchini 15; Totals 11-12-6/6 – 63