PITSBURG — While it was frustrating to watch on Thursday, Franklin Monroe girls basketball coach Dave Horner knows it’s part of the growing process for his team.
Franklin Monroe lost 73-12 to Russia in the Lady Jets’ regular season finale. While the positives for FM weren’t obvious to the casual viewer, Horner saw continued growth from his team and girls using skills they’ve learned over the course of the season against a strong Russia team.
“They’re a good team, but we did play hard,” the first-year head coach said. “As coaches, we some things from our players that other people in the stands don’t see, as far as post moves. And they’re some things that we tried to teach them; that’s encouraging. This year is going to go a long ways for next year. They grew up a lot this year.”
Franklin Monroe’s only lead of the game came off a Morgan Booher basket to open the night’s scoring. But then Russia scored 12 consecutive points to take a 12-2 lead.
After a basket by Emma Baker for the Jets, the Raiders scored the final seven points of the opening quarter for a 19-4 lead.
Russia began the second period with nine consecutive points before a free throw from Baker broke the Jets’ scoring drought. After a Russia basket, Booher scored again to make the score 30-7.
Russia then scored the final eight points of the first half to lead 38-7.
Franklin Monroe’s best offensive output of the night came in the third quarter as the Jets scored five points — two from Booher, one from Baker and two from senior Cori Jeffers in her final home basketball game.
Russia continued playing strong and scored the final nine points of the third quarter, going into the final period with a 57-12 lead.
FM couldn’t get its offense going in the fourth quarter as the Raiders outscored the Jets 16-0 for a 73-12 final score.
“It’s a very frustrating thing, but they’re going to grow up from this hopefully,” Horner said. “I’m very proud of them. They’re trying. They’re trying.”
Booher led Franklin Monroe with six points while Baker scored four and Jeffers added two.
Claire Sherman led Russia with a game-high 17 points Thursday. Also for the Raiders, Kylie Wilson scored 16 points, Maria Herron scored 12, Tiffany Hatcher scored 10, Emily Borchers scored six, Maggie Kearns scored six, Allison Gariety scored two, Lauren Heaton scored two, and Cassie Pleiman scored two.
Thursday was senior day for the Lady Jets, and they honored their one senior — Jeffers — prior to the game.
“I’m proud of her for being strong and trying to be a strong captain for the team,” Horner said. “She’s come a long way, too.”