SPLIT WEEK: The Frankenmuth varsity boys’ basketball team fell to Flint Kearsley and defeated Caro during hardcourt action last week. Above, Sam Bookmyer fires a shot over a Caro defender. (Photos courtesy/Deb Krafft)
Eagle boys host Panthers, Cards with TVC East title on the line
The Frankenmuth varsity boys basketball team hosted nonconference Flint Kearsley on February 17 and lost 68-50 and traveled to fellow Tri-Valley Conference East Division school Caro on February 20 and left with an easy 67-34 triumph.
Frankenmuth enters this week’s action with a 12-4 overall record and 9-2 in the TVC East. Millington is 13-3 overall and 10-2.
‘Muth entertains 13-3, 8-4 Birch Run tonight (February 25) and has a big showdown Friday evening, February 27, when Millington visits FHS. In addition to the critical league game, the Eagle student body will celebrate Comehoming and honor the 2014 Lady Eagles track and field state champion team as it unveils its banner.
Against Kearsley, the Eagles held a slim 13-12 first quarter lead only to see the Class A Hornets take a 28-26 halftime lead.
The third quarter is what stung FHS, a 22-9 run by Kearsley, and they cruised to the 18-point win.
“The Kearsley game was an interesting one and very atypical of us. I think it was a good wake-up call for us,” FHS Coach Andy Donovan said. “We let the game get too quick for us. We wanted to share the ball and pass the ball better and at times we got a bit sloppy. But I could tell by the boys’ reaction in the locker room after the game that there was sense of urgency and we practiced very well preparing for Caro.”
Ten players scored in the game, led by freshman Mario Whitley with 10 points, including making 2 of 4 three-point shots. He also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots.
Brady Wood posted nine points with a trey shot and going 2 for 2 from the free throw line. Sam Bookmyer contributed eight points.
Colton Zimmer registered a team-high five assists to go with his five rebounds. Aaron Krafft racked up 10 steals.
For the game, Frankenmuth was 14 of 33 from two-point range (42 percent), 3 of 20 from the three-point line (15 percent) and 13 of 15 from the free throw line (87 percent). The team totaled 256 rebounds, four blocked shots, 23 steals and 10 assists while committing 23 turnovers and 15 fouls.
At Caro, Frankenmuth jumped out to a 23-11 lead in the first quarter and extended it to 41-22 by halftime.
Caro has been playing much better basketball lately and they are tough to beat at their place. Zac (Janson) got off to a hot start with his shooting and we fed off that,” Donovan said.
Ten players again found the scoring column, led by the sharpshooting junior Janson. He swished 6 of 10 three-point shots, finishing with 19 points. He contributed three assists and two steals.
Defensively, Donovan was proud of his charges for their tenacity.
“We played solid defense, contesting every shot and not letting them get second shots. We secured the boards and went into the attack mode,” Donovan said.
‘Muth really polished off the Tigers in the third quarter with a 23-2 scoring spurt, giving the red and gray a 40-point cushion heading into the final quarter.
Whitley and Bookmyer each scored eight points. Whitley pulled in six rebounds with two blocked shots and Bookmyer added five boards.
Colton Zimmer scored six points but more importantly led FHS with 12 boards and four assists. Krafft added seven points and Grant Reene posted three blocked shots.
For the game, the Eagles were 12 of 28 from two-point range (43 percent), 10 of 24 from the three-point line (42 percent) and 13 of 18 from the free throw line (72 percent). ‘Muth amassed 41 rebounds, six blocked shots, 13 steals and 15 assists while committing just seven turnovers and 14 fouls.
While Donovan has his team ready for Birch Run tonight, he said regardless of the outcome, the Millington game will have implications for the TVC East title. Shawn Pardee has been leading the Cardinals while Austin Levan was out of the line-up with an injured shoulder. Levan is back to action this week.
“Having Pardee and Levan back will be tough as they are the best shot makers in our conference. They are so tough to defend and they know how to put the ball in the hole,” Donovan stated. very time Frankenmuth and Millington play, it is a tightly-contested contest.”
FHS traveled to Millington January 16 and suffered a close 58-55 loss. The Cards outscored the Eagles by 17 points at the free throw line.
Donovan believes his team has remedied its defense over recent games and has shored up its free throw shooting. The team is shooting in the mid-70 percent range at the line over the past few weeks.
“This is the time of the year where the little things win games, such as getting to loose balls, taking charges and attacking the rim. Our boys are playing with a lot of confidence,” Donovan said.
Millington’s TVC East season ends with the ‘Muth game while FHS has one more to play.
Frankenmuth will wrap up the regular season next week with a pair of away games. The Eagles will take on nonconference Reese (11-5 overall) on Tuesday, March 3 and finish the TVC East season at Otisville-LakeVille on Thursday, March 5.