ARCANUM – The Franklin-Monroe Jets slipped past the Arcanum Trojans, 51-44 for the title of the second annual Roy Hutchinson Memorial Tournament.
The title game was memorable indeed as it had three players foul out, two from Franklin-Monroe who had only eight players to begin with and one from Arcanum. Franklin-Monroe improves to 2-0 with this backyard rivalry game win, while Arcanum drops to 1-1 in a game they never led. Franklin-Monroe had quarter leads of 3, 7 at half, 7 going into the fourth and 7 was again the final margin for the consistent Jets of Abbey Moore. The two teams will meet again in the rugged Cross County Conference later on this year.
The first quarter saw the Jets jump out to a 7-1 lead only to have the Trojans close the gap to three to end the quarter at 13-10 as both teams hit the double digit mark on offense. Franklin-Monroe was led by Stella Shellabarger, who hit an eye-opening three to help her lead the pack with 5 points, followed closely by Corina Conley’s 4. Arcanum countered back in this high energy game with Taylor Gray’s 5 and Gracie Garno’s 3 points the old fashioned way.
Second quarter showed the next eight minutes to be more on the defensive end as only 20 points were amassed compared to 23 in the opening frame. The Jets added to their slim 3-point lead by four more at half as they got the all important three ball to drop as the Trojans could not. Belle Cable erupted from outside the arc with two threes for the Jets to help lead the squad with 8. Shellabarger added another long range bomb for good measure. Gray kept things close for the Trojans in the game with 4 from close distance as the Trojans were down 25-18 heading into intermission.
The third quarter did not disappoint as both squads lit up the Darke County night with 14 markers apiece as the crowd settled back in to their seats for round ball action as its best. Arcanum came out revitalized and got almost everybody on the court into the scoring column as five players dented the scoreboard. Leading the contingent was Hailey Unger and Gray who both deposited 4 points along with a much needed three by Madeline Fearon.
Franklin-Monroe got its 14 from only three players with Shellabarger and Cable pumping in 5 apiece followed closely by Conley’s 4 to see the scoreboard read 39-32 after 24 minutes of play.
The fourth quarter was all that and then some for the fans on both sides as the Trojans and Jets gave them their money’s worth, a classic for all to enjoy. Gray pulled the Trojans to 43-40 at the 3 minute mark, then fellow teammate Camille Pohl popped one in at the two minute mark for a 43-42 tally. However, that was close as it got as the Jets took the title by scoring 8 of the last 10 points of the game by nailing their free throws for a 8-point victory.
”We placed three in double figures and maintained our composure in our win tonight and we get to play them again in the conference. We played well on both ends of the court. When it is F.M and Arcanum you can throw the record books out. We hit our free throws when we needed to and that was huge for us to get the ‘W’. We were able to break their press and get the important rebounds tonight,” commented Moore.
Franklin-Monroe’s Conley was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She amassed double figures in both games, had numerous rebounds, hitting a big three and nailing numerous free throws to catapult the Jets to the championship. Conley was joined on the all-tourney team by teammates Shellabarger and Cable. Arcanum was well represented by getting Pohl and Taylor on the selection podium. Kendall Berne of Northwestern was the other selection to round out the stand out players.
Arcanum scoring: Garno 5, O’Daniel 1, Pohl 6, Fearon 5, Gray 16, Eva Siculan 3, Lexi Unger 2, Hailey Unger 4, Macey Hartman 2 for 44 points. One three and 11 free throws.
Franklin-Monroe: Skylar Bauman 2, Cable 16, Conley 12, Morris 5, and Shellabarger 16 for 51 points. Six threes and 15 free throws.