'Cats lose round two vs. New Franklin
SLATER -- The Slater boys' basketball team had won 13 straight games following its four-point loss to New Franklin for the Glasgow Tournament championship two months ago.
When the teams met Thursday, first place in the CAC was at stake, with the undefeated Bulldogs hanging onto it with a 58-57 decision. That leaves the Wildcats in a second-place tie with Cairo and Sturgeon with one league loss each.
New Franklin turned a one-point deficit into 36-27 halftime lead with a 22-12 second quarter, seniors Gavin Bishop and Tyler Perkins each scoring eight points. The margin was up to 13 points when Slater began its run, junior Keegan Zdybel knocking two a pair of three-pointers.
The 'Cats trailed by nine points with three minutes remaining, its press forcing turnovers to close to within a point on Zdybel's free throw with 40 seconds to go. The 'Dogs missed from the line and Slater had a chance to win it on senior Chandler Zdybel's open look with three seconds left, but it didn't go in.
Perkins finished with 22 points and Bishop had 21 for New Franklin (19-0, 5-0 CAC).
Senior Aden Campbell led the 'Cats (16-2, 4-1) with 17 points, the Zdybel brothers adding 12 each. The two teams are set to meet for the third time this season Tuesday at New Franklin.
Pilot Grove 70, Santa Fe 52
ALMA -- Senior Cole Meisenheimer's 20 points paced Pilot Grove during a 70-52 non-conference win Thursday at Santa Fe.
The Tigers extended a seven-point first-quarter lead to 12 points at the break as junior Hayden Krumm came off the bench to score 10 points during the second period. Pilot Grove gradually added to its lead the rest of the game.
Junior Bailey Quint tallied 11 points while reserves Krumm and sophomore Bo Vinson combined for 20 points for Pilot Grove (7-9).
The Chiefs (4-15) got 20 points from junior Drew Schmidt and 16 points from junior Hunter Ballenger. They play Friday at Crest Ridge, ranked 10th in the latest Class 2 poll.
Santa Fe 63, Pilot Grove 35
ALMA -- The Santa Fe girls came out on fire Thursday during their non-conference make-up game against visiting Pilot Grove, claiming a 63-35 victory.
Senior Carrigan Smith and sophomore Bella Limback both made three shots, good for 13 points, during the Lady Chiefs' 20-6 first-quarter blitz. After seeing its lead cut to 12 points by halftime, Santa Fe won the second half by a 31-15 margin, with sophomore Taylor Boothe scoring 12 of her game-high 15 points.
Senior Natalie Rentel and sophomore Natalie Glenn each had eight points to top the Lady Tigers (4-12).
Limback finished with 12 points, Smith had 11 and freshman Atleigh Lark contributed 10 points off the bench for the Lady Chiefs (15-4) -- who have an I-70 Conference clash Friday at Crest Ridge.
New Franklin 42, Slater 35
SLATER -- Slater was deadlocked early in the fourth quarter when New Franklin (11-8, 2-3 CAC) sank six straight free throws for a 42-35 CAC decision.
Sophomore McKenzie Nelson came off the bench to lead the Lady Wildcats (5-11, 1-5) with 14 points. The two teams meet again Tuesday at New Franklin.
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