PITSBURG – Franklin-Monroe held off Arcanum 60-54 to advance to the championship game of its own Jet Holiday Tournament on Saturday where they will take on Brookville.
FM used a strong first quarter push to jump ahead 13-5 putting Arcanum in a hole that they would try and dig out the remainder of the night.
In the opening frame Ethan Conley scored 6 points, Jackson Crist 4 and Ky Cool 3 for the Jets.
Arcanum got it going in the second period sharing the basketball with six different guys scoring the ball to pull within a bucket of the Jets at the break trailing 23-21.
Arcanum made several runs at the Jets, but each time the host team answered to push the lead back up as the Jets cranked it up in the third quarter scoring 18 points. Arcanum was nipping on their heels with 17 of their own trailing by just 3 going into the final stanza.
The inside game of Arcanum was strong in the third quarter with Lane Byrne making several good post moves for 6 points and Jake Goubeaux added 4 points on drives to the basket.
In the early part of the fourth quarter, FM was able to push out the lead again to 48-42, but a big triple by Evan Atchley got them to 48-45 to stay close with just under four minutes to play.
The Jets again pushed the lead with a couple big baskets by Jordan Rhoades and an out-of-bounds alley-oop at the rim to Conley for the fielder upped the lead to 54-45 at 2:47.
At the 1:12 mark Rhoades again came up big with a 12-foot jumper to extend the lead to 58-47.
The Trojans’ Carter Gray, who was held in check most of the game, had 7 of his 11 points in the period knocking down a triple. Atchley, who had 12 points, added a triple to keep a glimmer of hope, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Jets who went onto claim the 60-54 win.
Arcanum also got 10 points from Byrne and 8 points each from Goubeaux and Zach Smith. The Trojans fall to 4-4 overall and will take on Mississinawa Valley in the consolation game on Saturday.
“Jordan Rhoades is growing up, whatever you tell that kid everyday he’s on it, whether it’s in April, July or now whatever you tell him he’s going to do it and we told him he has to be a bigger part of our offense and you saw that tonight especially in the fourth quarter,” Franklin-Monroe coach Troy Myers said. “He’s the guy in practice the other day who calms our guys down and is making the plays at crucial times when we need them and his 15-foot shot in the fourth quarter to shut down the run Arcanum had was huge for us. To have the confidence to step up and shoot that is what we need.
“I was pleased with our effort on defense as well and again Jordan was a big reason for that as well as he was our cover guy to make sure that Carter Gray didn’t get it going and he was able in our half court to be there to make sure he didn’t get it going because if you give ‘12’ clean three’s it’s going to be a long night,” concluded Myers.
Franklin-Monroe was led by Conley with 18 points, Rhoades had 13 and Ky Cool 11 in the win for the Jets, who improve to 5-3 on the year and will play the championship against Brookville.