By Drew Terhall
ARCANUM — It was the first game of the season for both WOAC teams. It wasn’t the prettiest, but Franklin Monroe High School boys’ basketball team defeated Mississinawa Valley, 54-43, at home.
Head coach Troy Myers said the team played well defensively, but they still have more room to grow.
“It’s better to learn after a win than learn after a lost. We’ll take it,” Myers said.
After the first quarter, the Blackhawks were up 13-8. The Jets couldn’t get any offensive consistency going. They were able to score by outpacing the Blackhawks, but didn’t have a lot of those opportunities early.
Franklin Monroe continued to battle during the second quarter. They found some offense after getting used the the Mississinawa Valley zone.
Blackhawks’ head coach Nick Hamilton said he was pleased with how his team played the zone for the most part. He does want to see more consistency out of them on that end of the floor.
Then the Blackhawks started to get into foul trouble early. Starters like seniors Troy Woodbury and Matt Pisano started to spend more time on the bench than they wanted to.
Mississinawa Valley led 21-18 at halftime. The Blackhawks couldn’t string together a few baskets to grow their lead.
Pisano had 10 points at halftime. For the Jets, junior Gage Wackler had eight points at half to lead Franklin Monroe.
Then Franklin Monroe took over the game with their defense along with the scoring from sophomore EB Fall.
The Jets were bottling up the Blackhawks offense as Mississinawa Valley was dealing with foul trouble in the second half. Hamilton said the team has to stay out of foul trouble. A lot of their starters continued to sit out for most of the second half.
Hamilton said the team had some miscues and they couldn’t find their stride. He also said the team has worked hard in practice and have given the coach staff their all each day. It’s going to take some time before the Blackhawks can reach their full potential.
“They’re all playing, they’re all doing excatly what we ask them to do in practice and we’ll get there. It’s the first game, it’s very disappointing. We expected to come in here and win, we expect to win every game we play,” Hamilton said. “Those boys are devestated right now that they lost that game. Every single one of them are. That’s what I want to see out of them, they aren’t accepting losing.”
Fall ended the third quarter with 14 points as the Jets were leading 32-26. He then doubled his points in the fourth quarter.
With both teams getting into the bonus early on, Fall went to the free throw line 12 times. He ended the game going 10 for 18 from the charity stripe.
Fall led all scorers with 28 points in the game. He had the ability to get into the paint and score off second chance opportunities.
For Mississinawa Valley, Pisano and Woodbury both led the team with 13 points each. The Blackhawks had three players foul out of the game.
For Franklin Monroe, Myers said his starting lineup had barely any varsity basketball experience. This was a great first game for them as they develop their players. The team has learned what it takes to win while learning from their mistakes.
The development of this team might not pay dividends for them this season, but could pay off in the future.
“I see some growth in the kids over 28 practices prior to tonight. We’re starting from a different spot,” Myers said. “If we can continue to get that growth with some of our youth and inexperience, hopefully it will pay off for us down the line.”
The Jets will travel to Twin Valley South on Dec. 6 for their next game. For the Blackhawks, they will travel to Union City on Dec. 6 for an out of conference matchup.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]