FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon needed every second to fend off Franklin Community last season in a three-point, opening-night win for the Marauders.
In this year’s season debut for both teams, however, the visiting Grizzly Cubs used incredible depth and a hot first quarter of shooting to earn a 47-28 win on the road.
Franklin Community completed a 19-1 run in the opening quarter with the help of an aggressive full-court press and were led in scoring by senior guard Makenna Bertsch, who finished with a game-high 16 points — all in the first half.
Mt. Vernon, which received seven points and 10 rebounds from junior center Sophie Williams, could not catch up despite an improved second half. Junior teammate Hanna Johnson led the Marauders with 10 points.
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Last season, Mt. Vernon won 58-55.
Franklin Community head coach Josh Sabol, who spent the last two seasons at Decatur Central, earned a win in his first game with the team. His substitution pattern, which would be five in, five out, wore on the host Marauders.
“Our slogan on our T-shirts is ‘strength in numbers,’” Sabol said. “We have a lot of good players and a lot of girls who can dribble, pass and shoot. We are going to play somewhere between 10 to 12 girls every night.
“We knew this would not be easy. (Mt. Vernon) has been one of the best programs in the state the last few years.”
Mt. Vernon scored the first four points of the game with baskets from junior Mary Fleming and Williams but were outscored the rest of the quarter thanks in large to 10 turnovers.
Franklin Community used two 3-pointers from Bertsch, who hit four in the first half, and another from classmate Cami Cochrane in the quarter to take the commanding lead.
Franklin Community had six players score in the opening period and did not allow a field goal in the final six minutes of the quarter. Mt. Vernon junior Kaitlyn Nugent scored the other point for the Marauders off a free throw attempt.
Grizzly Cubs junior forward Maya Elliott went down with an injury with 5.8 seconds left in the first quarter and was taken off the court on a stretcher.
“(Her safety) is more important than basketball,” Sabol said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her.”
Bertsch, however, remained hot as the game resumed and scored 10 more points in the second quarter. Keeler led the Marauders with four points at halftime — all free throws.
Sydney Shelton, who is currently playing at Butler University, scored 29 points in the win over the Franklin Community last season. Senior Allison Barnard scored 12 points in the loss a year ago and added seven off the bench on Tuesday.
Doud is now 38-13 in his third season at Mt. Vernon, which looks to bounce back on Saturday at home against Warren Central. Franklin Community will be on the road on Saturday at Covenant Christian. Both games will tip at 7:30 p.m.
In the junior varsity contest on Tuesday, the Grizzly Cubs won 61-45.
Franklin Community 47, Mt. Vernon 28
MV – Williams 7 points and 10 rebounds, Johnson 10 points
FC – Bertsch 16 points and 4 3-pointers, Barnard 7 points, Sullivan 7 points