PITSBURG — Having lost a strong senior class including three starters to graduation, the Franklin Monroe boys basketball is working to find its identity for the upcoming season.
The Jets hosted four teams in summer league basketball on Tuesday night with Franklin Monroe taking on Houston and Fairlawn in back-to-back match ups with FM winning both contests.
“It’s summer,” Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said. “It’s good just to get guys in the rotation. We’re coming into a new season here with a lot of different guys so we’re just trying to get them in the mix and get some games under their belt more than anything. We’re trying to find our continuity, trying to figure how we can play, who we can play. But now’s the time to do it.”
While there are several holes to fill in the Jets’ lineup, Myers said, the foundation that the recent graduates created will benefit the current players as they move forward.
“I think what we do have though is the culture,” he said. “I think those guys left an imprint here with the culture they established. So these guys, even though they may not have played a lot of minutes, they know what we expect, they know the discipline we expect. So that’s step No. 1. When you’ve already established that, you can build. The foundation is there; we just have to build the house on up and see what we can do when the season comes.”
In Franklin Monroe’s first game Tuesday night, FM matched up with Houston. After being tied at 18-18 at halftime, the Jets outscored the Wildcats in the second half for a 44-39 victory.
In the second game against Fairlawn, Franklin Monroe built a 19-17 halftime lead, but the squad from Shelby County had the lead late. The home team was able to get a buzzer beater to force overtime and then won 45-44.
“I said the feeling of making a winning play is a lot better than the feeling of selfishness,” Myers said, recalling his message to his players. “And I thought we were selfish for the majority of that game. I thought we played for ourselves. But down the stretch they did what they had to do, which was get out of themselves and play unselfish. They made a couple winning plays, and they won the game. But it was ugly; it was a summer league game, and we’re not at our best right now, but we don’t need to be. We need to make progress, and that’s what we’re doing. Hopefully it will pay off for us.”