By Chris Bowie Boonville Daily News
After disappointing losses against the Salisbury Panthers in the semifinal round of the Sturgeon Invitational Tournament, the New Franklin men’s and women’s basketball teams wasted no time getting back into the win column Saturday in the third-place games.
For the Lady Bulldogs, they defeated a much improved Sturgeon squad 69-44. As for the New Franklin boys, they defeated the South Callaway Bulldogs 71-55.
The New Franklin girls, improving to 14-6 on the season, outscored Sturgeon in all four quarters while leading the Lady Bulldogs 18-12 after one, 36-23 at the half and 5438 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, New Franklin outscored Sturgeon 15-6 to win the game by 25.
Franklin’s new coach, Morgan Grosse, said it was a great win for the girls and a great third-place trophy. “The four quarters looked amazing on both ends of the floor, but especially on offense,” Grosse said. “We stayed consistent, balanced and finished the game strong.”
Freshman Lily Chitwood led four players in double figures for New Franklin with 25 points, while KeBrea Fair chipped in 14, Carly Dorson 13 and Kelsi Fair with 10. Brynn Belstle dropped three points while Brooklynn Brown and Emma Rice added two points each.
For Sturgeon, Brooklyn Dougherty had 10 while Allia Heath and Aydan Wilhete each added nine points. Rylee West chipped in eight.
As for the New Franklin guys, they started a little slow out of the gate as they led South Callaway by just two (12-10) after the end of the first period. However, the next three quarters looked more like the Bulldogs entering the tournament 16-1 after outscoring South Callaway 21-16 in the second period to lead at the half 33-28. Meanwhile, in the second half, New Franklin held a 20-15 run in the third to go up 53-43 and then outscored the Bulldogs 18-15 in the final period to win the game by 16.
Franklin’s new coach, Jim Schlotzhauer, said he was very proud of how the boys rebounded after a tough loss Thursday night. “You could tell we didn’t have our legs back yet, so I thought our bench did a great job coming in and out of the game and giving us some energy,” Schlotzhauer said. “Our offense looked a lot better with more movement and better ball movement. South Callaway was a very difficult team to guard. Its style makes you cover the whole floor, with handles everywhere. We really did a good job for the most part, with some miscommunication and missing a few points that led to scores. The way the guys responded to a loss is exactly what you want to see as a coach.”
Tanner Bishop led four players in double figures for New Franklin with 18 points. Owen Armentrout chipped in 11 while Clayton Wilmsmeyer and Connor Wilmsmeyer each added 10 points, Drake Clark eight, Jake Marshall five and Sawyer Felten and Caden Schlotzhauer each had one point.
For South Callaway, Tayber Gray finished the game with 15 points.
In other games on Saturday, the New Bloomfield girls won 46-28 over Paris in the fifth-place game, while the Paris boys finished nine better than Community to comfort themselves 51-42. Meanwhile, in the championship games, the No. 3 Salisbury girls beat Community 47-39, while the No. 1 Westran boys avenge an earlier loss against No. 3 Salisbury for a win. from 50-48.