PITSBURG – Franklin Monroe surged in the fourth quarter Friday night to defeat National Trail 45-42 in a Cross County Conference game.
This win propelled the Jets to 15-5 overall and 9-2 in the Cross County Conference. National Trail, who did not trail much of the game, fell to 9-11 overall and 5-6 in the conference in front of a loud crowd at the Hangar.
First quarter firings showed both teams tickling the twine and scoring15 and 12 respectively with the Blazers holding the upper hand.
Sophomore Ethan Conley’s 7 points tied all scorers in this canto with a combination of 2s and free throws. Parker Hessler added a 3-pointer and Mason Conley contributed two free throws as the Jets were an impressive 5-of-5 from the line.
National Trail countered with an equally impressive 7-point showing by the coach’s son, Peyton Harrison, who had a 3-pointer and two 2s.
Second quarter offerings showcased Franklin Monroe’s defensive pressure working its magic as the Jets held the Blazers to 6 points in eight minutes of action. FM’s offense only manufactured 9 points, but it was enough to tie the game at 21-21 apiece.
Ethan Conley again led the charges with 4 points followed by Kyle Ressler and Zach Cable with 2 apiece while Mason Conley made one free throw. National Trail had three players Zach Woodall, Weston Haws and Kaleb Deardorff.
Third quarter fisticuffs showed the Blazers burning in 15 points, which matched their first quarter blitz point total, while the Jets flew in 10 points from the perimeter. Dalton Mason came alive for the Blazers with 8 markers to lead everyone.
Mason Conley, Hessler and Ethan Conley were in a three fall as all had a 3-pointer to keep the Jets close. Big man Kameron Thurmond playing strong underneath popped in a free throw for 1 point. The Jets were still down by 5 at 36-31 but within striking distance of the Blazers.
The Jets saved their best for last as the fourth quarter belonged to Franklin Monroe as they mowed in 14 points while holding the Blazers to 6. Bryce Filbrun, who was scoreless the first three quarters, splashed in 5 points to lead the Jets. Ethan Conley connected for 4 while Ressler popped in a 3-pointer and Thurmond laid in 2 before fouling out. National Trail had Harrison, Adam Eyler and Mason all with a bucket.
“The team never lost belief we would win the game,” Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said. “Defense did it for us tonight, but offensively we must have more than Ethan Conley step up every night. We were fortunate this evening that we had Bryce Filbrun hit a 3 and two free throws. Bryce never gets enough credit as he plays three quarters of junior varsity also. I am not losing confidence in our guys, but we got to come together. We were able to survive on our free throw shooting tonight with 12 of 18 from the line, but we must keep Thurmond from being overly aggressive and not fouling out.”
Ethan Conley led Franklin Monroe with 18 points, Mason Conley scored 6, Hessler 6, Filbrun 5, Ressler 5, Thurmond 3 and Cable 2.
For National Trail Mason scored 14 points, Harrison 9, Eyler 6, Haws 6, Travis Hunt 3, Deardorff 2 and Woodall 2.