LEWISBURG – The Franklin Monroe Jets jetted past the Panthers of Tri-County North in a second half blitz that blindsided the Preble County squad, winning 57-44.
Franklin Monroe clung to a 21-18 halftime lead over its Cross County Conference foe. The Jets’ offense and defense came out of the Hangar and hung a 24-4 spot in the third quarter on the stunned Panthers, who had no answers.
Franklin Monroe improved its record to 14-7 and 8-2 in the conference race. Tri-County North’s record dropped to 3-17 and 1-9 in the conference.
The first quarter was nip and tuck as the Panthers clawed to an 8-6 lead after eight minutes of action. Deuces were wild for the Jets as Ethan Conley, Parker Hessler and Zach Cable splicing in 2 points apiece. James Fry led the Panther attack by pouncing in the paint for 6 points
The second quarter saw the Jets converting on their fast-break opportunities for 15 points while putting a collar around the Panthers by holding them to 10 points for a 3-point advantage of 21-18. The Jets were fueled in this quarter by Mason Conley, who canned in 7 points, followed closely by Ethan Conley’s 6. Gabe Brinson brandished the arc with two 3-pointers to keep the Panthers within pouncing distance.
A halftime oratory statement by Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers awoke the Jets and the nets for Franklin Monroe as they tossed in 24 points. Defensively the Jets enforced their press by containing the Panthers to just two free throws and one bucket in eight minutes of fast action.
The 24 points FM scored in the third was 3 more than it scored the entire first half. Leading the Jets aerial assault was Cable, who scored 7 points, and following right behind was Ethan Conley, who canned in 6. Tri-County North could only muster a deuce from Brinson and two free throws from Preston Jackson. The Jets more than doubled the score on the Panthers with eight minutes of action left at 45-22.
The fourth quarter firings showed the Panthers doubling their three quarters of production with 22 points, but the Jets held strongly scoring 12 for a 13-point victory. The Jets were led by Kyle Ressler with 4 points. Tri-County North was led once again by Brinson, who scored 8 points in the fourth quarter for a game-high 21 points.
“Zach Cable played his best game tonight on both ends of the court. This was a total team effort as we flat out just got after it in the third quarter,” Coach Myers said. “Our defensive pressure on our full-court press was the difference tonight along with our 15 of 18 from the free throw line. We definitely showed some positive strides tonight after getting upset by (Twin Valley) South last weekend.”
Ethan Conley led Franklin Monroe with 16 points, Mason Conley scored 13, Cable scored 13, Hessler 7, Ressler 4, Bryce Filbrun 3 and Cade McGlinch 1.
Brinson led Tri-County North with 21 points, Fry 9, Brandon Parsons 4, Jackson 2, Terrell Lewis 2, Phil Lockwood 2, Brian Stinson 2, Josh Heindl 1 and Bailey Lairson 1.