Jets basketball gets one-point win over the Trojans in a memorable game


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — This one ended with a talking point for the people of Arcanum and Pitsburg. Franklin Monroe won a close 42-41 game over rivals Arcanum on the road on Feb. 2.

It started after Arcanum senior Brady Lock drained a three-pointer to go down 41-42. Franklin Monroe hurried and got the ball in-bounded with Arcanum having no timeouts left.

Even after a foul was called sending Franklin Monroe junior EB Fall to the free throw line, the clock kept running and the buzzer went off.

After a huddle by the referees, 0.7 seconds was added onto the clock. Fall missed the first free throw and may or may not have missed the second on purpose.

Arcanum got the better end of the miss as the ball bounced towards half-court, getting them closer to the basket for a last second heave. With a Trojan player getting the ball, a Jet player came up to contest the shot.

As the shot was missed, there was a cry from the crowd for a foul to be called as it seemed like some sort of contact was made. No call was made.

Franklin Monroe head coach Troy Myers said the execution was good by his team during that sequence, until the defender came too close to the shooter. He was okay giving Arcanum a Hail Mary try to win the game.

“Our player had no business being in the play. Obviously, the player was looking for a foul. You be the judge. There’s three guys in stripes to make that call. Obviously, I’m on the winning end and I’m thankful they didn’t call a foul,” Myers said. “But, it’s also something that we can not do. We wanted to miss it anyway. So they can’t take it out of bounds and advance it on an out of bounds play.”

Arcanum head coach Kevin Brackman said it’s tough call to make in that situation. He asked what other people thought of the call as he believes that the foul must be clear and obvious to be called.

“At that point in the game for as back and forth it has been, a call like that has got to be so clear. It’s got to be evident. One party is going to end up happy if he goes down and makes two free throws,” Brackman said.

Arcanum started this game on a 9-0 run with the packed gym getting into the game early for the home team. They were playing at a fast pace and didn’t let Franklin Monroe get set.

Myers said it’s deflating to not get stops early and the team just found themselves in an early hole.

“Arcanum played inspired in the first part of the game. They executed well, they did what they wanted to do. Our defense was too evasive. We had a specific plan coming in here. Same thing we did last Friday, you have a specific plan and you have to execute the plan. We didn’t do that. We let them touch the paint way too much in the first four minutes of the game,” Myers said.

The Trojans were without key contributors in seniors Nathan Koller and Braylen Etherington and sophomore Matthew McCans. Brackman said they just got back senior Brady Lock from a 10-day absence and they didn’t have sophomore Regan Christ in practice the day before the game.

There’s a sickness going around the team that they have had to fight through. So far this last week, they have done just that.

“Although we’ve been trying to prep, it’s kind of been a wonky week. We had to communicate with guys. We were dropping scouting reports off to different guys’ houses just so they could look over stuff. We were hoping they were here today,” Brackman said.”For them to come out hot and handle the adversity that the week had presented us with, I’m proud of the guys.”

Franklin Monroe senior Gage Wackler scored all five points in the first quarter for the Jets to keep close. Then in the second, things started to change.

The Jets were able to slow the game down after being down 14-5 with about five minutes left. The offense started to flow and they found ways to get easy buckets.

Franklin Monroe junior Eric Brenner scored a last second layup to go into halftime tied 19-19.

Brenner then made two free throws 30 seconds into the second half to give the Jets their first lead of the game. From that point, it went back and forth.

Arcanum held a 26-25 lead as Christ made a last second three before the buzzer to go into the fourth quarter.

Both teams continued to retake the lead as they headed for a close game. Brenner then was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free throws to go up 33-30 with 4:30 left. From that point on, Franklin Monroe didn’t give up their lead.

Myers said they knew it would be a tournament type game, once again, for them and this time they passed the test of coming out of a one-possession game with a win.

In the fourth quarter, Arcanum shot 2 for 7 from the free throw line. They were 6 for 12 from the free throw line in the game.

Both teams made big shots down the stretch in hopes it could lead them to a win. As Brackman said, it was a game that shows what high school basketball is really about. Just two teams playing a great game in front of a great crowd.

“As an outsider in this community, a lot of people all week have been talking about this rivalry and what it was and what it is. It definitely lived up to that tonight,” Brackman said.

Myers echoed the same sentiment saying it was a great atmosphere in this game and praised the Franklin Monroe community for showing their support for his team.

“Great crowd, even our side. That’s what you expect from a cross-town rival. Thankful that our people came out and really supported us,” Myers said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised as the season goes to see more and more of them coming out. It’s gives our kids energy for sure. I’m thankful for it.”

For Franklin Monroe, Fall and Brenner each had 10 points. For Arcanum, Christ led with 11 points and Lock had nine points.

The Jets are now 12-5 with a 6-2 WOAC record. They will head to Newton on Feb. 3 for a 7:30 p.m. tip off. Myers said with their final games, he hopes his team will continue to gain confidence in close games.

The Trojans are now 10-9 with a 5-4 WOAC record. They will play next week on Feb. 9 at Tri-County North and then play at Greenon on Feb. 10 both starting at 7:30 p.m. Brackman said he hopes the team focuses on getting better each day and learn from these games.

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

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