PITSBURG – A slow starting contest at The Hangar Monday night looked to be a slug-it-out affair until the Franklin Monroe Lady Jets unleashed their full-court pressure defense on the Lady Devils of Brookville.
Franklin Monroe seized the momentum and took control of the contest, sending the Jets to a 49-23 victory, keeping their unbeaten record at home this season intact.
Trailing 4-2 with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter, Franklin Monroe unleashed its pressure packages and immediately caused two Brookville turnovers, which led to two Lady Jet field goals and a 6-4 lead at the end of the period.
“We’ve been working on that press in practice,” FM girls basketball coach Abbey Moore said. “The girls have shown that they’re knowledgeable basketball players able to make defensive adjustments quickly.”
The energy level increase caused by the success of their defense spurred the Lady Jets on in the second quarter to a 17-7 run. During this surge nearly every loose ball seemed to be corralled by Franklin Monroe, and the Lady Jets seemed to be just a step quicker than Brookville. FM dominated the defensive glass, rarely giving up any second-chance opportunities to the Lady Devils. This all added up to a 23-11 Lady Jet halftime advantage.
“Brookville came out and played hard from the beginning,” Coach Moore said. “Then we were able to put some pressure on them and get some quick buckets and get on that run.”
The second half belonged to Franklin Monroe. The Jets opened the final 16 minutes on a 22-4 run that carried nearly three minutes into the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. The Lady Jets ran their offensive sets well either getting good looks near the basket or drawing fouls.
“We handled the ball well in the half court,” Moore said. “Told them in practice to be aggressive on offense. Sometimes we get lax and just want to run the plays … Told them when the defense gives you something you’ve got to take it. Think once I got that message through they started to see those openings and were able to take advantage.”
Corina Conley paced all scorers with 16 points, and Belle Cable added 13 for Franklin Monroe. Brookville was led by Jordyn Cherry with 6 and Kylee Wheat with 5. Conley also led the Lady Jets in rebounds with 12, and Audrey Cable dished out five assists for FM.
Franklin Monroe advanced to 10-4 on the season. The Lady Jets travel to Bradford Thursday to face the Lady Railroaders.