PITSBURG – Ethan Conley capped a career day by sinking two free throws with five seconds to play to seal a 42-40 win over Brookville to help Franklin Monroe claim the Jet Holiday Tournament title.
With the Jets trailing 6-3, Kyle Ressler sank a triple at the 2:45 mark to tie the game 6-all.
FM stayed strong defensively, holding Brookville scoreless for nearly four minutes and used 8 points from Conley in the first quarter to go up 11-6.
There was a lot of bumping, hard-nosed play in the second quarter with both teams scoring 8 points, and the Jets held a 19-14 halftime advantage.
In the third quarter FM slowly started to build a lead and at 1:34 mark Conley on a drive up the middle finished at the rim to give the Jets a 29-21 lead. It would also put him over the 1,000-point mark in his career.
“He knew nothing about the 1000-point mark because I didn’t want him playing for it and change his mindset,” Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said. “We took a timeout, and I whispered it in his ear he scored a 1,000 points; he was shocked. He is a humble kid. He doesn’t keep track of what he’s scoring. He just wants to get the job done. I’m super proud he earned it on a night like this, and let him have a moment because he’s so humble,” Myers said.
Conley scored 8 points in the quarter, but Brookville closed out the third quarter strong, narrowing the lead down to 31-28.
Brookville wasn’t ready to concede the title and rallied in the final stanza, putting a lot of pressure on the Jets and working hard to deny Conley touches.
The Jets, realizing the situation, took advantage of the strength and finishing ability of Zach Cable who scored 6 tough points in the paint to keep Brookville a step behind.
“Zach is a bulldog. He’s the crutch of our team. He had a mismatch, and we went away from ‘E’ for a while because we thought he could get us something, and he did. We fed him, and he was tough under the rim. When we need a big play or a stop he’s always in the thick of things,” Myers said.
Cole McGlinch came up big, going 3-for-4 from the free throw line late, but the Blue Devils kept coming and tied the game on a second effort tip with 38 seconds to go.
FM then ran time off the clock and with eight seconds to go put the ball in Conley’s hands and let him go to work where he would pick up a foul in the paint, setting up his two free throws.
Brookville had one last chance with just under three seconds to go. Wade Turner, who had fell to one knee, somehow got off a shot from behind the arch. The ball rattled around inside the cylinder, and it finally popped back out, and the Jets survived 49-47.
Brookville was the defending champs and was led by Wade Turner with 10 points and Jacob Gudorf added 8. The duo would be named to the all-tournament team.
Conley led the Jets with 20 points and had a two-game total of 41 to earn the MVP award. Ressler and Cable were also named to the Jet Holiday Tournament all-tournament team.
“We had trouble creating easy buckets for us tonight … but luckily our defense was good enough tonight to get the job done,” Myers said.
“Our toughness was good enough down the stretch, and I am proud we got the job done,” Myers concluded.
Score by quarters
BR …. 06 … 08 … 14 … 12 – 40
FM .… 11 … 08 … 12 … 11 – 42
Brookville – Jacob Gudorf 8, Justin Bland 5, Weston Turner 4, AJ Denlinger 2, Jesse McGriff 6, Wade Turner 10, Eller 3, Willis 2 – Totals – 3-11-7/13 – 40
Franklin Monroe – Kyle Ressler 6, Bryce Filbrun 3, Zach Cable 10, Cole McGlinch 3, Ethan Conley 20 – Totals –2-11-8/13 – 42
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