UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley stood strong, going toe to toe with Franklin Monroe in the first half, but the Jets surged ahead on a strong third quarter effort that propelled them to a Cross County Conference boys basketball game win, 72-41.
In the first quarter Ethan Conley was on a roll, scoring 9 of 12 points to give the Jets a 12-11 lead over the Blackhawks.
The Hawks got 5 points from Ethan Bowman and 4 points from Andrew Johns and a go-ahead bucket from DJ Howell and Mississinawa led 15-12.
Franklin Monroe made a nice run in the second quarter, getting 6 points each from Kameron Thurmond and Ethan Conley and 5 from Kyle Ressler and Cole McGlinch to give the Jets a 30-26 halftime lead.
Mississinawa answered a big 10-0 run by the Jets on two huge triples from freshman Cody Dirksen to keep them close at the half.
The third quarter proved to be detrimental to the Hawks as they struggled to score and saw Franklin Monroe put up 21 points to expand its lead to 51- 34.
“We got stops. We talk about kills and getting three stops in a row, and we didn’t do that in the first half, but we were able to do that in the second half,” Franklin Monroe coach Troy Myers said.
“In the second half we were able to get a couple of quick kills right away, and we got out and ran for some easy scores, and it allowed us to go on some runs. In the first half Mississinawa answered but not in the second half,” Myers added.
“Third quarter every game hurts us. It’s turnover after turnover, and we just don’t have anyone who wants to control the game on the court,” Mississinawa coach Tim Barga said.
“We had the same problem last year for the first six-seven games, but we got smarter and Devan Rinderle took control … we just don’t have anyone to take control out there,” a dejected Barga said.
The final stanza saw FM put up another 21 points on its way to the 72-41 CCC win.
The Jets got balanced scoring, nearly putting five guys in double figures. They were led by Ethan Conley with 21 points, Ressler and Mason Conley 11, Thurmond 10 and Parker Hesler 8 for the game.
“It was nice to get balanced scoring and nearly five guys in double figures tonight,” ‘Myers said. “In the first half I thought we were a little selfish. I didn’t think the ball was moving. It was touching out best player’s hands, but it wasn’t moving as much as we wanted it to. In the second half, it moved, we got it inside, and Kam did some work. Then we got it outside and knocked down 3s. I think when you share it and you see shots go in. Obviously you’re more apt to share it even more.
“Our six, seven, eighth man off the bench have been superior in practice. They work so hard and to see them come in tonight and play a spot that is critical for us and then slide in and contribute, that was great to see. Hopefully we continue to get that kind of production out of them in the future,” Myers concluded.
Franklin Monroe improved to 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the conference while Mississinawa Valley fell to 3-9 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
Score by quarters:
FM … 12 … 18 … 21 … 21 – 72
MV … 15 … 11 … 08 … 07 – 41
Ressler 11, M. Conley 11, Hesler 8, Cable 6, McGlinch 5, E. Conley 21, Thurmond 10
Totals: 8-20-10/15 – 72
Scholl 2, Bowman 12, Hall 2, Miller 6, Perkins 2, Howell 2, Johns 6, Slob 3, Dirksen 6
Totals: 2-14-7/17 – 41