PITSBURG – The Tri-Village boys basketball team came from 13 down in the second half to claim victory in a 47-44 squeaker over Franklin Monroe Friday night.
“We knew if we could continue to churn it out and grind it out and make them have to make tough shots we thought eventually we were going to get going and we did,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said. “We made some big shots. We had some kids step up and make some big plays.”
The Patriots opened the scoring on the night when Matthew Warner made a steal and drove the length of the court for two.
Martin Maksvytis had the hot hand for FM in the first quarter, connecting on four buckets including two treys and free throw for 11 points.
Tri-Village struggled to get any offense going in the first period. Down 13-4 with just seconds to go, Tri-Village got a tip-in from Andrew Wilcox to shorten the Jets lead to 13-6.
The second quarter continued very physical as the fouls started stacking up against players from both teams. Patriots standout player Kyle Pipenger went to the bench, picking up his third foul of the game with 5:37 to play in the quarter.
With 1:55 in the quarter, Tyler Cook picked up his third foul for the Patriots and took a seat on the bench next to Pipenger.
“We’ve got to do a better job of adjusting to the way the game is being officiated,” Sagester said. “I thought we came out and played very physical, and that’s not the way the officials wanted the game to be played. We’ve got to do a better job of adjusting as the game goes on.”
Down 21-12 Shade Brubaker hit a trey for Tri-Village to close out the half, down 21-15.
“I don’t think I could have scripted a worse first half for us. We were down six going to the locker room. Wasn’t too bad a shape to be in to be quite honest. It could have been a lot worse. We kept fighting scratching and clawing and made some plays when we had to,” Sagester said.
FM started the second half scoring on a fast break from Justin Rhoades, stretching the Jets’ lead to eight.
Sophomore Colton Linkous connected on a trey for the Patriots at 5:23 with the score 23-18 in favor of Franklin Monroe.
Tri-Village’s Linkous picked up his third foul with 3:53 in the quarter followed by Patriot’s 6-foot 7-inch Willcox whistled for his fourth foul seconds later sending him to the Patriots’ bench.
Franklin Monroe scored eight unanswered points, increasing its lead to 36-23. With 0:01 showing on the clock, Linkous hit his third trey of the quarter for T-V, closing out the third quarter with Franklin Monroe holding a 36-28 advantage.
FM held Patriots scoring leader Kyle Pipenger to two first half and third quarter points.
Pipenger showed his leadership abilities, scoring the first three buckets of the fourth period as Tri-Village ran off eight unanswered points, tying the score at 36-36 with 5:32 in the game.
“We knew it would be (down to the wire),” Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said. “The way we started, you have to know a team like Tri-Village is going to make runs. I told them in the first break, the first time out, you’ve got to weather the storm; it’s coming. I thought we did it for about three and one half quarters, and then they made some plays down the stretch, and that’s the difference in the ballgame.”
The lead would change hands three times down the stretch. At 3:33 Maksvytis hit a 3-pointer for FM ,giving the lead back to the Jets at 42-40.
With 2:31 remaining, Brubaker hit a trey for the Patriots, propelling his team back on top at 43-42.
Down by three with possession of the ball and 0:14 ticks on the clock, Franklin Monroe’s 3-point attempt missed the mark, giving the Patriots a come from behind win.
“It’s the next day for us,” Myers said. “Tomorrow night it’s Houston. Houston doesn’t care that we lost to a good ball club by three. They’re going to come in here and try to knock us off. We’ve got tough kids. I know they will be back here in the morning ready to go for another game tomorrow night.”
“Our kids fought through some adversity,” Sagester said. “Obviously we did not play as well as we would have liked tonight. Credit Franklin Monroe kids for that. We were saddled with foul troubles very early. We were able to find a way down the stretch to pull it out.”