Dragons fall on road

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FRANKLIN — Franklin senior guard Cory Richards figures free throw practice must be working.

“We practice free throws every day when we walk into practice,” Richards said. “To hit all the free throws we did down the stretch was huge for us.”

Richards scored 18 points and senior guard Reece Thomson added 15 to lead Franklin to a 62-57 victory against New Palestine on Monday night.

Thomson hit 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter, while Richards made 3 of 4. The Grizzly Cubs were able to make 21 of 29 free throws overall. Thomson was 11 of 14.

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“Reece did a good job at the free throw line,” Franklin coach Brad Dickey said. “Cory is our steady guy for handling the ball.”

Blaine Wentzell contributed 13 points and Drew Byerly 11 for Franklin (10-6), which turned a 28-21 halftime deficit into a 38-36 third-quarter lead.

“Defensively, I think we did a good job in the first half,” New Palestine coach Trent Whitaker said. “Franklin is a solid basketball team. The third quarter kind of got away and we have to bounce back.”

Senior Matthew True got the Dragons off to a 16-12 lead by hitting four 3-pointers. He finished with a team-high 18 points. Maximus Gizzi contributed 15 points and Dylan Romine 12 for the Dragons (8-5).

“They started in zone and we shot them out of that pretty quick,” Whitaker said. “They were physical with (True). I think his jersey size might be bigger after the ball game with a little tugging on it. They did what they needed to do and we didn’t adjust very well to that.”

Richards said the Grizzly Cubs have to do a better job knowing where the shooters are in the zone.

“Once we got to man, we locked up the shooters and played a little better,” he said.

Dickey agreed the team’s defense picked up when it went man-to-man.

“We figured out the scouting report and did a good job,” Dickey said. “Blaine was excellent guarding (True).”

Dickey said his team handled the ball well in the fourth quarter, while Whitaker said his team has to play more consistently.

“We just go through some (rough) stretches,” Whitaker said. “We didn’t come out in the second half very well. We have to find a way to score when outside shots aren’t going down.”

Franklin plays host to Martinsville Friday night and plays Southport at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday night. New Palestine will host Yorktown Friday night and Rushville Saturday night.

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Franklin 62, New Palestine 57

New Palestine;16;12;8;21;—;57

Franklin;12;9;17;24;—;62

New Palestine (8-5): Maximus Gizzi 4 6-6 15, Matthew True 5 4-4 18, Jack Walker 0 0-0 0, Maxen Hook 0 0-0 0, Eric Roudebush 0 0-0 0, Kyle King 2 0-0 4, Dylan Romine 4 4-4 12, Dawson Eastes 3 0-2 8. Totals: 18 14-16 57.

Franklin (10-6): Cory Richards 7 4-5 18, Cody Mahler 2 1-2 5, Reece Thomson 2 11-14 15, Blaine Wentzell 4 2-2 13, Drew Byerly 4 3-6 11, Luke Miles 0 0-0 0, Antonio Sanchez 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 21-29 62.

3-point goals: New Palestine 7 (True 4, Eastes 2, Gizzi), Franklin 3 (Wentzell 3).

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