Franklin Monroe played solid defense and made plays in the stretch to win 42-35 over Ansonia. (Dale Barger Photo)

10 Seconds And A “Cooler Ky” Delivers Franklin Monroe A Win Over Ansonia

PITSBURG –  Franklin Monroe and Ansonia went toe to toe in a defensive battle, the kind where the team that makes a significant play or two late in the game wins. Ky Cool provided those plays to spring the Jets to a 42-35 win.

The Jets delivered two triples by Jayce Byers and Karson Wright to go up 8-2 to start the game prompting Ansonia coach Devin Limburg to call timeout to regroup at the 4-minute mark of the opening quarter.  

What looked like a possible high scoring game turned off as fast as it turned on with both teams locking in on defense combined with lost opportunities … point blank lay-ups by both teams, and just 2 more points over the next 4 minutes as the Jets led 8-4 to end the 1st quarter.  

Points were hard to come by in the 2nd period as well, so Ansonia Garrett Stammen went to work to manufacture them as the sophomore forward bullied his way inside to get to the rim and added a trey for good measure scoring 9 first half points for the Tigers who took a 16-15 lead at the break.

The low scoring first half wasn’t a surprise to Franklin Monroe head coach Troy Myers.

“Well, if you look at the records or the history of our two teams, you probably would have expected something similar tonight. Devin has done a fantastic job with his kids, they’re all young and the way they played together and how they defended us in the first half was really good,” Myers stated.

Ansonia doesn’t have a senior on the team with 3 juniors, 6 sophomores and a freshman.

The Tigers came out and expanded their advantage in the early part of the 3rd quarter going up 21-15 getting triples from Stammen and sophomore guard Landyn Bowman.

FM battled back on a triple from Jayce Byers and a tough bucket at the rim by Ky Cool to pull within a point 21-20.  

In the heat of the moment Ky’s temper led to a technical that earned him a cooling off period on the bench … one the senior would like to have back that led to two free throws for Ansonia.

With the Tigers leading 26-20, junior guard Brandon Rumble knocked down a triple from the top of the key and then earned the harm and the foul for and old fashioned three-point play to pull the Jets even.  

Ethan Garber who had been held in check all game long with strong defense scored his only bucket with 34 seconds giving the Jets a 28-26 advantage to end the 3rd quarter.

The Tigers quickly tied the game at 29-29 in the final frame on a triple by jr. guard Ian Schmitmeyer from the corner, his only points in the game.  Schmitmeyer came in averaging 12 points a game.

“I was really proud of our kid’s defensive effort and making sure they located shooters, because Schmitmeyer can light it up,” Myers stated.

“We can’t win if we don’t defend. I mean, we can’t score, I think our kids know the identity of what we’re trying to do at this point in the season, which is a good thing.  That pride they take on defending is what keeps us in games, it’s hard to get kids to want to defend and I’m just thankful for the heart of our kids that want to do that,” Myers praised.

Both teams were locked in like a good staring contest waiting to see who blinks first.

With 1:53 to go and the Jets leading 34-33, Ky Cool rebounded a missed Ansonia shot, dribble the length of the floor all the way down the middle to the rim as no one stopped ball for the lay-up.  The senior then stole the inbound pass and in one motion dished opposite block to Sargent for a lay-up all in a 10-second span vaulting the Jets in front 38-33 at 1:43.

The Tigers blinked for 10 seconds, and it was a moment a “Cooler” Ky needed to atone for his earlier misgiving, one the Jets wouldn’t waste by closing out the game with a 42-35 hard fought Western Ohio Athletic Conference win.

“We had to make some adjustments. You know, I mean, they were taking some certain things away and I thought a couple guys in the second half stepped up for us and really made the difference down the stretch,” Troy Myers stated.

Jayce Byers was one of the kids who stepped up scoring a steady 15 points in the game that pleased his coach.

“Jayce is a better player than his numbers reflect he has the ability to make plays. He’s one of the smoothest kids’ skills wise we’ve had in a long time.  We kept telling Jayce you have to fight and shoot your way through and get more reps and spend more time and here the last two weeks he’s done that, he’s a big part of our leadership team so I’m thankful he had a night like tonight and hopefully he’ll continue to gain his confidence,” Myers said.

Obviously our defense tonight was big for us as we worked hard to try and keep them out of the lane because they do a really good job of driving and kicking or driving and finishing.  Stammen is so good with his countermoves and even Schmitmeyer once he gets in the paint. 

We did a good job of not allowing the paint touches and they didn’t shoot it well either so I’m just proud of our defensive effort,” Myers concluded.

Garrett Stammen led all scorers in the game with 18 points and Jayce Byers 15 for the Jets.  They were the only players to score in double figures. 

Franklin Monroe improves to 9-8 overall and 5-4 in the WOAC and will travel to Cedarville on Saturday.

Ansonia falls to 6-10, 2-6 and they will travel to Tri-Village Saturday.

Game Photos Here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=WOACSPORTS&set=a.169144835467433

Ky Cool, atoned for an earlier mistake with two big plays in 10 seconds to turn the momentum to the Jets and a victory late in the game. (Dale Barger Photo)
Jayce Byers scored 15 points to lead the Jets to a 42-35 win over Ansonia. (Dale Barger Photo)
Ansonia Garrett Stammen led all scorers with 18 points in the game. (Dale Barger Photo)
Ansonia sophomore Jacob Creager scored on this shot and had 4 points in the game. (Dale Barger Photo)
Senior Gabe Sargent finally has cleared to play and goes hard to the rim for the Jets. Sargent scored 7 points. (Dale Barger Photo)

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at dbarger@darkecountynow.com.

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