Jets Outlast Panthers
J. C. Tilton
The Franklin Monroe Jets have been perennial CCC leaders, consistantly in the top half of the league for many years. TVS is having a better than average season. South wanted to play the role of spoiler and knock the Jets out of the elite of the league and maybe post a quality win that would capture the notice of the state tournament officials so that they could get a seed or at least a good bracket. So TVS had plenty of incentive and desire coming into this game. As the contest began, both teams seemed to take the same approach on defense - that they had to stop the other teams marquee player. For Franklin Monroe this meant stopping Amanda Moore and for South this meant stopping Abbey Davenport. Moore was held to just 7 points, and Davenport only scored 4, most of these from free throws at the end of the 4th quarter. So it would be up to the other 4 players on the court for both teams to pick up the slack. Overall it was a cleanly played (not many fouls), but intense ball game.
Both teams were cold at the start of the game. It was several minutes before the first basket was scored, South captured an early lead, but Franklin Monroe quickly recovered and ended the quarter on top 12-7. In the second quarter, it started to look like an old TVS-FM game with FM scoring at will and stifling South on defense. They gathered an 18 to 11 lead before South called a time out to stop the bleeding. Whatever was said must have awoken South from their lethargy. The Panthers came roaring back, finally matching Franklin Monroe 20-20 when the buzzer sounded.
TVS tried to free up Moore by moving her to wing and having someone else run the point several times in the last half of the game. And it looked like Davis, who was playing great basketball, might be rendered ineffective when she picked up 3 fouls in quick succession in the third quarter. Still she was able to play within herself and be aggressive for the rest of the game. The third quarter was back and forth with neither team being able to get much of advantage. Up to this point both teams played mainly a man to man, but South slipped into a zone late in the game to confuse the Jets. The 4th quarter began with the Jet's up by one, 32-31. The start of the quarter saw the two teams exchanging baskets again. But about midway thru South was struggling to get a basket, their shots were just not dropping. When South finally began to make a move, the clock had about 2 minutes left and they were down by 5. Finally, with about a minute left, South resorted to fouling to get the ball back. Franklin Monroe maintained their lead and would win 46-39.
"For 3 and a half quarters we played great." commented coach Robinson. "We turned the ball over at critical times and those errors are going to cost you ballgames. There was no lack of effort, the girls gave 100%, we just made mistakes." Robinson added that she thought that the team worked hard to get ready for the Jets in their week off and that Davis also had a good night scoring 17 points, getting rebounds and playing strong defense. "They [the Jets] have been scoring and we held them to just 46 points, so the team was prepared on defense." Although the team shut down Davenport they did allow Elaina Kakatolis and Dana Halderman to score 16 points each for F-M. Davis had a game high 17 followed by McMurray with 8, Moore 7, Maleski 4, Lipps 2, Durkle 1. The JV's lost to the Jets 24-44; scoring: Summers 14, Bambeck 7, Fullen 2, Duchemin 1. South plays Feb. 5 at Bradford, Feb. 7 at Eaton. Comments: email: Chris Tilton