Versailles gets season opening win on the road at Franklin Monroe
PITSBURG – The Versailles Tigers defeated the Franklin Monroe Jets 55-42 in non-conference basketball action. Just a week earlier the Tigers won the OHSAA State Championship in football and took to the court for its opening game of the season following a week of practice.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be a well-oiled machine out there whatsoever with limited practices but we are treating these types of games to get us ready for the long run of the season,” said Versailles coach, Travis Swank. “We kind of have experience coming back but still they need to get some time up and down the court a little bit more before we’re where we want to be at. We’re just not there yet but it’s still good to come in and get a hard fought victory.”
Versailles jumped out to a double digit 19-9 first quarter taking advantage of its size led by six Connor Stonebraker points.
“Their height – it’s not high school height, it’s college height and it’s not just two kids, it’s four or five kids,” Franklin Monroe coach, Troy Myers stated. “It’s legit height so not only did it affect us on rebounding but being able to get shots off. With their length it takes that split second away that you thought you have but now you don’t have it.”
“When they’re out of bounds you can tell them it’s coming over their heads but when they throw it up and a kid goes and gets it – I’m not making excuses but the fact is the fact,” added Myers. “Their roster is really good and it’s not just their size, it’s some good pieces around them so I give a lot of respect to them. They did what they needed to do on the first night.”
The two Darke County teams put matching 10-point scores on the second quarter board sending the game to the break with Versailles holding a 29-19 advantage.
Jaydon Litten paced the Tigers with 8-points including two 3-pointers while Garber was leading the Jets with 4-points including 2-2 at the line.
“Jay’s (Litten) been with us the whole time so I think his legs were a little bit better in the first half and you could tell he was getting a little tired there in the second half,” said Swank, “but with those two (Litten and Stonebraker) they are very seasoned and we rely on their outside and inside presence to help us in games.”
Period No. 3 went to Versailles 11-9 with Stonebraker accounting for 8-points including 2-2 at the line and Franklin Monroe’s Sargent scored all 9-points for the Jets making a 40-28 Tigers lead with thee quarters in the book.
Versailles took the final period 15-14 for a 13-point win in the team’s first game of the 2021-22 OHSAA season.
“Our kids played extremely hard and did what we needed them to do here tonight,” Coach Swank said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be fantastic but they played hard and besides a little stretch there we owned the defensive rebounds, we owned the offensive rebounds and that is what we wanted.”
“In the first quarter we weren’t ready like we should have been but again you don’t make excuses,” said Coach Myers. “You go to work next week and try to get it corrected but I am proud of our guys. They continued to fight even down double digits in the second half and tried to make it a game there late, but Versailles is really good.”
VERSAILLES 55, FRANKLIN MONROE 42
VERSAILLES – C. Stonebraker 19, J. Litten 14, E. McEldowney 8, B. Ruhenkamp 6, C. Hamilton 4, N. McEldowney 3, A. Griesdorn 1 – TOTALS 17 15-20 2 55
FRANKLIN MONROE – G. Sargent 19, E. Garber 8, L. Keller 4, B. Rumble 3, K. Wright 3, C. Yount 3, K. Cool 2 TOTALS 11 5-9 5 42
Versailles 2 (J. Litten 2)
Franklin Monroe 5 (B. Rumble 1, K. Wright 1, L. Keller 1, G. Sargent 1, C. Yount 1)
SCORE by QUARTERS
19-10-11-15 55 Versailles
09-10-09-14 42 Franklin Monroe