HOUSTON – Despite a game-high 30 points from senior Zach Hyre, the Franklin Monroe Jets couldn’t break into the win column Saturday night against an energized Houston Wildcat squad, falling 60-53.
The Wildcats jumped Franklin Monroe early, causing turnovers and not allowing the Jets to set up their half-court offense. Not quite three minutes into the game Coach Troy Myers had to use a timeout to stop an 11-2 Houston start.
The lead would grow to 13-2 before Hyre and the Jets began to come back. Hyre’s 10 first period points were aided by a field goal by Kyle Ressler and a 3-pointer by Bradey Hesler to close the Wildcat lead to 19-15 after one quarter.
“Zach’s been a good program guy for us… kind of changed his attitude about things, being a bit more aggressive and become more of a leader for us,” Coach Myers said said. “He got hurt last night and had to sit out a quarter. Same thing happened tonight. He got cut on the arm and had to sit out. You could tell he was going to try to gear us to a win.”
The Jets began period two on a 9-2 run that would see them take the lead 24-21 with nearly four minutes until the half. Houston began to fall in love with the 3-point attempt but would convert none in the quarter.
Franklin Monroe would lose Hyre to the bench due to that cut he received during game action. Houston’s senior experience in the backcourt took over, causing the Jets to commit four consecutive turnovers, which led to seven Wildcat points. Parker Hesler closed out the FM scoring with two free throws to make the score 30-26 Houston at the intermission.
Houston came into the third period still looking for shots from long range but now wanted to drop the ball down inside more. Junior Cameron Arnold hit a trey to open the Wildcat scoring, and the scrappy Houston defense caused two consecutive turnovers to give them a 36-28 lead. FM countered with the scoring of Hyre and freshman Ethan Conley to keep the Jets close at 48-42 after three quarters.
Each team knew that they would have to strengthen the defensive effort to win the game, and that’s what they did. Only 23 points combined were scored in the fourth quarter. Houston’s largest lead would be seven at 51-44, and FM would get no closer than four at 57-53 with less than a minute remaining.
“We shared the ball a lot better tonight,” Coach Myers said of his team’s performance. “We made an effort to make the extra pass to get the ball distributed. Late in the game I thought we tightened up a little bit and didn’t move quite as much as we wanted to. We had some guys shoot the ball real well tonight, a lot better than last night, so there’s things we can build on… We’ve got to make gradual steps and hopefully we can do that. We’re only two games in.”
The Jets fall to 0-2 on the season, but they are optimistic.
“We’re growing,” Myers said. “Even in 24 hours with another game in 48 hours. I tell these guys we’re going to learn on the fly. Team is young and inexperienced. We’re going to learn as we go. Try to get better every night.”
Houston won the junior varsity game 48-33.
Franklin Monroe-53, 0-2
Ressler 4, McGlinch 3, Hyre 30, B. Hesler 3, Conley 11, P. Hesler 2.
Houston- 60, 1-2
Phipps 16, Beaver 4, Arnold 19, Sluss 1, Jolly 16, Freytag 4.
3-pointers: FM 4 (Hyre 4, McGlinch 1, B. Hesler 1); Hou 2 (Arnold 2).