BROOKVILLE – Franklin Monroe had its tournament run and season come to an end against Covington in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division IV sectional finals at Brookville by the score of 56-44.
FM had beaten Covington earlier in the year 51-35 for a big Cross County Conference win. In that match-up the Jets held senior Jordan Crowell to just 3 points.
Crowell would be the difference maker in the rematch. She hit six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Lady Buccs to a 56-44 win.
Covington started the game on 5-0 run, but Franklin Monroe closed out the first quarter with a 10-5 run to tie the score 10-10. Kennedy Morris and Audrey Cable each had triples and Corina Conley and Chloe Peters each had a bucket.
The Lady Jets then scored the first 8 points of the second quarter for an 18-10 lead to force Covington to take a timeout.
“The first time we played them we were down by something like 18 points and couldn’t recover,” Covington girls basketball coach Jim Meyer said. “We just brought them over and calmed the girls down. We told them to just play like they are capable, and we’d be fine.”
Covington responded by going on a 14-0 run to take a 24-18 lead before Franklin Monroe hit a bucket to close out the first half at 24-20.
“Part of our run was the fact that Conley picked up her second foul and had to go to the bench,” Meyer said. “They are a different team without her on the floor. But that just shows the maturity of this team to be able to make a run like that, and I felt it set the tone for the rest of the game.”
It was a run that Franklin Monroe couldn’t answer.
“We came out strong, made the first run of the game then struggled to answer when they made a big run in the second quarter,” Franklin Monroe girls basketball coach Abbey Moore said.
Covington never relinquished the lead the rest of the way as Crowell got hot, scoring 17 of her 20 points after the break.
The Buccs had a game plan and that was to try and slow down Conley.
“Our post players really played well at both ends of the floor,” Meyer said. “Defensively we did a great job of making their big girl (Conley) work for everything she got. She’s a talented player, and we were able to hold her to just three field goals.”
The Jets scored 10 points in the third quarter with Audrey Cable netting 4, Morris 3, Conley 2 and Peters 1 … but they gave up 16 and trailed 40-30 heading into the final stanza.
Morris drained her fourth triple of the game in the fourth quarter along with another by Audrey Cable, and the Jets scored 14 team points … but there would be no dramatic comeback as the Buccs scored 16 to earn the sectional title.
Franklin Monroe was led by Audrey Cable and Morris both with 12 points and Conley had 9 for the Jets, who end the season 21-4 overall.
“This was definitely not the way we wanted this season to end,” Moore said. “I give credit to Covington and Crowell who stepped up big and was the difference maker in the game.”
But that doesn’t take away from a fantastic season turned in by Franklin Monroe, who has a lot to be proud of and will go in the record books tied for the most wins in a season at 21 and a lot of memorable wins.
“I want to give a big thanks to my seniors for all of their hard work and dedication to this program and wish them the best of luck in the future,” Moore said.
“I am extremely proud of this team and what they were able accomplish this year. The bar has been raised, and it is going to take a lot of hard work this offseason to surpass that bar next year. I’m motivated to give everything I have, and I know the girls who will be returning are as well,” Moore concluded.
Score by quarters:
CO … 10 … 14 … 16 … 16 – 56
FM … 10 … 10 … 10 … 14 – 44
Covington – Jordan Crowell – 20, Sammi Whiteman – 15, Kenzie Long – 7, Lilly Hamilton – 6, Tori Lyle – 4, Lauren Christian – 4; Totals 8-12-8/9 – 54
Franklin Monroe – Chloe Brumbaugh – 6, Belle Cable – 2, Corina Conley – 9, Chloe Peters – 3, Kennedy Morris – 12, Audrey Cable – 12; Totals 6-9-8/10 – 44
Covington – Jordan Crowell (6), Sammi Whiteman (1), Kenzie Long (1)
Franklin Monroe – Kennedy Morris (4), Audrey Cable (2)