PITSBURG – Franklin Monroe exploded for 40 points in the second half to pull away from Mississinawa Valley, snapping the Blackhawks’ five-game win streak and advancing to the Jet Holiday Tournament championship game by the score of 74-52.
The first quarter saw both teams getting up and down the floor, but it was FM who led 18-15.
Kyle Ressler had 9 points and Ethan Conley 7 for the Jets and Ethan Bowman 5 and DJ Howell 4 for the Hawks.
In the second quarter the Hawks had no answer for Conley who seemed to score when he wanted as he added another 9 points to help the Jets to a 34-27 halftime lead.
The Hawks were in jeopardy of going into the break down double digits, but a late triple and short jumper by Alex Scholl kept Mississinawa within striking distance.
Franklin Monroe poured it on in the third quarter with relentless defensive pressure that generated a lot of offense in the open floor to go up 54-39 heading into the final stanza.
“Our pressure had to be relentless. I just think it has to be the way we play. We have to create our own energy. When you don’t really have a student section, or a band, you have to create that for yourself, and we were locked in and focused tonight,” Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said.
There would be no comeback for Mississinawa Valley on this night, winners of its last five games, as the Jets put up another 20 points in the final frame to win it going away 74-52.
“We had way too many turnovers, and I give Franklin Monroe credit. They caused a lot of our turnovers … but we had a lot of lazy passes and bad decisions on our part as well,” Mississinawa Valley coach Tim Barga said.
Mississinawa Valley was led by Ethan Bowman with 16 points and Matthew Slob added 10 for the Hawks.
Bowman ended the game 4 shy of the 1,000-point mark and easily could have tried to score late in the game … but was more concerned about distributing the ball to others to rally his team, but the effort came up short.
“If Ethan wanted to go out and score 25 points a game he could do it … but he wants to win games and get everyone involved. Tonight he tried to get everyone involved and wasn’t worried about getting to 1,000 points. He’s our leader in all categories – rebounding, assists, steals and points – for a reason; he’s a complete player,” Barga said.
Franklin Monroe’s Coach Myers concurred.
“Ethan Bowman might be the best scoring passer in our league, maybe the area. He passes the ball extremely well, he finds the open guy when the help steps up, and tonight he found guys rather than getting his own.”
Friday it was all Franklin Monroe who may have got the best game so far from senior Kyle Ressler who led the Jets with 22 points.
“It might have been the best game in blue and white for Ressler. We got Kyle some ball screens, which is a good way for him to get to the rim and in the paint. He’s a good facilitator, and we are just trying to flow our offense better from transition. I thought we did a good job of that tonight. We got out and ran, and that gives him a purpose and puts him in an attack mode,” Myers said.
“The ball moved really well tonight. We are playing unselfish, and that leads to balanced scoring. It was good to see,” Myers said.
Ressler had 22 points, Conley 21, Zach Cable 13 and Parker Hesler 10 for FM.
“I really love the synergy of our team. We are in sync and really working well together,” Myers concluded.
Score by quarters
MV …. 15 … 12 … 12 … 13 – 52
FM .… 18 … 16 … 20 … 20 – 74
Mississinawa – Max Dirmeyer 4, Will Hall 5, Ethan Bowman 16, Trent Collins 4, Alex Scholl 5, DJ Howell 6, Matt Slob 10, Cody Dirksen 2
Totals – 2-19-8/10 – 52
Franklin Monroe – Kyle Ressler 22, Bryce Filbrun 3, Jordan Rhoades 3, Zach Cable 13, Cole McGlinch 2, Parker Hesler 10, Ethan Conley 21
Totals – 6-24-8/17 – 74