Jets boys basketball wins close one against Dayton Christian


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — It was a close one at the Hangar. But, the Franklin Monroe boys basketball team move to 3-0 on the season with a 52-48 win over Dayton Christian on Dec. 9.

Head coach Troy Myers said the team had a repeat beginning to this game. Like in their win over Twin Valley South on Dec. 8, the team fell behind early and fought back to get the win.

“The ability to respond is a skill and we’re in the developmental stage of that as well as a lot of other things. Last night was really no different, we got behind early. You have to somehow focus enough to get enough possessions strung together to respond in the right way. I think they did that early and we did it late to close out the game,” Myers said.

The Warriors raced out to an 8-0 lead with most, if not all, of their points being scored in transition. They were able to get out front of the Franklin Monroe defense and scored easily.

But a late run by the Jets only had them down 10-12 at the end of the first quarter. Franklin Monroe was crashing the offensive glass and created a few second chance opportunities.

It was a 22-22 tie at halftime. Franklin Monroe took their first lead of the game with about 3:15 left in the second quarter on a bucket from junior EB Fall.

After three quarters, Dayton Christian held a 33-30 lead. Both teams had a hard time scoring in their half-court offense.

The Jets were led on defense by senior Gage Wackler and junior Ty Riffle. Myers said both of those guys do the dirty work on defense and play their roles well.

“For those kids, specifically, to be able to excel in their role. We talk about it, excel in your role. If you can do that, you’re helping our team,” Myers said. “A few of those guys, Gage, Keir, didn’t play tonight but he’s like that, Ty. You need those guys.”

The Jets made some plays early to jump out to a lead. Fall made two straight shots to give Franklin Monroe a 34-33 lead. A minute later, sophomore Lucas Brenner made a three to go up 37-34.

With the score knotted up at 43-43 with 1:58 left, Fall scored and got the foul call to go to the free throw line. Fall missed the free throw, but junior Trey Wilson got the rebound and layed it in to make it a 47-43 game.

From there, Franklin Monroe did enough on the free throw line to hold on for the win. Myers said his players stepped up late on the free throw line when they needed too after struggling for most of the game. He also said they have shot better from the free throw line in their last two games.

Many guys stepped up to get the win. Myers said they get production from multiple spots and it showed in this game.

This was also another chance for the team to learn and grow. They had some struggles and were able to learn how to come away with the win. Myers said there’s still more growing this team needs to do, but are on the right track.

“Some of these guys are in a little different position than they’ve been in the past. There’s some growing up and maturing to do. Three games into the year, I’m not unhappy with that growth,” Myers said. “We need to treat Monday the same way we would if we won or lost today and then that’s real maturity.”

Myers also said he would like to see his team understand situational basketball more. Learn how to keep a lead and how to take precautions on possessions when down.

Fall led the team with 19 points. Junior Eric Brenner had 15 points and Lucas Brenner had 10 points. The team shot 14 for 24 from the free throw line.

Myers said it’s great to see the team enjoy a 3-0 start. Even with more work needing to be done, the players can enjoy seeing their hard work from the offseason pay off.

“It’s rewarding for our kids to know that the work they’ve been doing through 27 practices is being rewarded, not necessarily for the scoreboard. A good energy like that is exciting to be around. They’ve created it. It’s them, they’re creating it with their ability to choose extra work. When you share a suffering like that, you enjoy those successful winnings. I’m happy for them,” Myers said.

The Jets will travel to Mississinawa Valley on Dec. 15 for their next game. Varsity tipoff is set for 7:15 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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