Warren County Middle School played its final game Tuesday night against Franklin North in the CTC Conference postseason tournament. The Gator defense took a big bite out of the Pioneer offense after WCMS jumped ahead in the first quarter.
The final three quarters favored the Gators. The defense clamped down and tightened up against the Pioneers powerful inside game. Franklin North defeated WCMS, 54-46.
Pioneer Micah Webster led all scorers with a game-high 19 points. Webster took control early inside and worked the Gator defense over for 13 points in the first half.
Franklin North allowed Webster to own the paint and control the pace in the opening period. He was fouled on his first attempt inside. He went to the free-throw line and made good on both attempts.
Warren County continued to push the ball inside. If the defense did collapse on Webster, the ball was passed out to Pioneer sharp-shooter Eli Jones. Jones blistered the Gator defense for three first quarter 3-pointers.
Cameron Reed kept pace with WCMS and he led the Gators on offense. Reed scored 10 of his 14 points in the first. He received help from Luke Owens and Theron Sons and at the end of the first quarter, WCMS led 18-16.
Franklin North opened wide in the second and took a big bite out of the Pioneer offense. The Gator defense harassed Webster with a constant double-team on the low block. He was limited to just four points in the second quarter.
Jerry Mrema slipped through the defense and turned the corner on the Gators for two points. Dante Elam got freed up and fired a shot over the defender and it fell through.
The Gator defense turned the game around as the team claimed the lead at the half, 29-26.
Carter Mansfield went inside and faced an aggressive Gator defender in the third. He was fouled and shot 1-of-2 from the line.
Eli Buchanan stepped up and took over the offense while many of the Gator defenders focused on Jones and Webster. Buchanan knocked down a pair of jumpers in the third and led WCMS with four.
The Gators remained in the lead after three, 37-35.
In the final period, WCMS struggled to find the range. Webster was fed the ball inside and he was immediately hammered before he had a chance to face the basket. Franklin North made him earn his points and Webster shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Mansfield found just enough time outside for a deep 3-pointer. Jones was covered on the outside and was fouled in the act of shooting behind the arch. He shot 2-of-3 and followed with a shot a little closer inside for his final points.
Franklin North outscored WCMS 17-11 in the fourth and defeated the Pioneers, 54-46 and ended the Pioneer season just one game into the tournament.
GATOR SCORING – Cameron Reed 14, Luke Owen 12, Trey Melton 10, Mason Mitchell 9, Kal Rigsby 4, Theron Sons 3, Kole Palmer 2
PIONEER SCORING – Micah Webster 19, Eli Jones 15, Carter Mansfield 4, Eli Buchanan 4, Jerry Mrema 2, Dante Elam 2