Defense propels Franklin in bounce-back win over Oakwood

Franklin’s Will Kercher pressures Oakwood’s Connor Dinkler during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Franklin’s Will Kercher pressures Oakwood’s Connor Dinkler during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

The Franklin High School boys basketball team went back to its roots to rebound from its first loss.

After falling short in a close loss to Miamisburg on Saturday, the Wildcats turned to their suffocating defense to get back on track with a 64-40 victory against Oakwood on Tuesday.

It was the lowest point total allowed by Franklin (9-1 overall, 4-0 Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division), a traditionally strong defensive team, this season. Its next-best performance came in holding Tri-County North to 43 points in the home opener.

“We wanted to get that taste out of our mouth from Saturday,” Franklin coach Brian Bales said. “That was a tough loss. We felt we played well enough to win. We came back and had a great practice and mentally got locked in yesterday, and there was one word I put on our board and that was ‘defend.’ Boy, we did that. We were locked in on the defensive end, and I’m just proud of the effort.”

The timing was key for the Wildcats, who travel to face Brookville (10-0, 5-0 SWBL Southwestern) on Friday in a matchup for sole possession of first place in the division. The Blue Devils boast the league’s stingiest defense, allowing just 35.1 points per game.

Franklin’s defense was dominant from the start Tuesday against Oakwood (6-5, 2-3).

After holding the Lumberjacks to three points on free throws in the second quarter, the Wildcats were able to pull away for a 25-10 halftime lead. Will Kercher had nine of his 12 first-half points that period and finished with 18 for the game, including five 3-pointers. He also had two steals.

Caption
Franklin’s Ryan Montgomery cuts through Oakwood defenders Andy Neff (33) and Brock Gorman (15) on Tuesday night during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Franklin’s Ryan Montgomery cuts through Oakwood defenders Andy Neff (33) and Brock Gorman (15) on Tuesday night during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Franklin’s Ryan Montgomery cuts through Oakwood defenders Andy Neff (33) and Brock Gorman (15) on Tuesday night during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

“I thought the guys executed the game plan defensively, and to hold Oakwood to 10 points in the first half was special on our guys’ behalf,” Bales said. “Oakwood has some weapons, and that was the best team defense we’ve played all season.”

The Wildcats’ full-court pressure was one thing, but they also blocked four shots in the second quarter alone.

Franklin was able to turn Oakwood’s struggles on offense into transition points much of the game with Ryan Montgomery especially finding success breaking the Jacks’ zone defense in the first half to open up players like Kercher before getting to the hoop himself in the second half.

Montgomery had six points at halftime but finished with 18 points, a team-high eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Andy Neff led Oakwood with 17 points, and Darren Rubin added 11.

“They blocked our shot four times, so then we got afraid and that affected us,” Lumberjacks coach Paul Stone said. “I don’t think we made any shots from the perimeter, so we went inside like we wanted to, had our shot blocked, didn’t shot fake like we were supposed to, and then that opens up transition points for them. We had to guard them man-to-man eventually, and that’s hard to do against them.”

Oakwood will travel to Bellbrook on Friday.

Oakwood 7-3-10-20—40

Franklin 8-17-21-18—64

OAKWOOD (6-5, 2-3 SWBL Southwestern): Brendan Talarczyk 0 2 2, Darren Rubin 3 2 11, Connor Dinkler 3 2 8, Mark Lauterbach 1 0 2, Andy Neff 6 4 17. Totals: 13-10-40

FRANKLIN (9-1, 4-0 SWBL Southwestern): Noah Kremer 2 2 6, Payton Knott 4 2 11, Will Kercher 5 3 18, Braden White 1 0 3, Cole Bundren 0 2 2, Ryan Montgomery 7 3 18, Jared Kinzer 1 0 2, Greg Wyatt 0 1 1, Konnor Black 1 0 3. Totals: 21-13-64

3-pointers: O 4 (Rubin 3, Neff), F 9 (Kercher 5, Knott, White, Montgomery, Black)

Caption
Oakwood’s Brendan Talarczyk is covered by Franklin’s Payton Knott during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Oakwood’s Brendan Talarczyk is covered by Franklin’s Payton Knott during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Oakwood’s Brendan Talarczyk is covered by Franklin’s Payton Knott during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Caption
Franklin’s Noah Kremer goes after a shot by Oakwood’s Brendan Talarczyk during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. That’s the Wildcats’ Jared Kinzer (23) watching the play. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Franklin’s Noah Kremer goes after a shot by Oakwood’s Brendan Talarczyk during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. That’s the Wildcats’ Jared Kinzer (23) watching the play. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Franklin’s Noah Kremer goes after a shot by Oakwood’s Brendan Talarczyk during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. That’s the Wildcats’ Jared Kinzer (23) watching the play. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Caption
Franklin’s Braden White puts up a shot over Oakwood’s Charlie Haverland during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Franklin’s Braden White puts up a shot over Oakwood’s Charlie Haverland during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Franklin’s Braden White puts up a shot over Oakwood’s Charlie Haverland during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Caption
Franklin coach Brian Bales watches his team during Tuesday night’s game against Oakwood at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Franklin coach Brian Bales watches his team during Tuesday night’s game against Oakwood at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Franklin coach Brian Bales watches his team during Tuesday night’s game against Oakwood at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Caption
Oakwood’s Charlie Haverland and Franklin’s Noah Kremer (1) fight for a rebound during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Oakwood’s Charlie Haverland and Franklin’s Noah Kremer (1) fight for a rebound during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Oakwood’s Charlie Haverland and Franklin’s Noah Kremer (1) fight for a rebound during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Caption
Oakwood’s Darren Rubin takes the ball up the floor while being chased by Franklin’s Will Kercher during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Oakwood’s Darren Rubin takes the ball up the floor while being chased by Franklin’s Will Kercher during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Oakwood’s Darren Rubin takes the ball up the floor while being chased by Franklin’s Will Kercher during their game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Caption
Oakwood’ss Brendan Talarczyk looks for a teammate while being double-teamed by Franklin’s Payton Knott (hidden) and Noah Kremer (1) during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Oakwood’ss Brendan Talarczyk looks for a teammate while being double-teamed by Franklin’s Payton Knott (hidden) and Noah Kremer (1) during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Oakwood’ss Brendan Talarczyk looks for a teammate while being double-teamed by Franklin’s Payton Knott (hidden) and Noah Kremer (1) during Tuesday night’s game at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Caption
Oakwood coach Paul Stone paces in front of his bench during their game against host Franklin at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

Oakwood coach Paul Stone paces in front of his bench during their game against host Franklin at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD
Caption
Oakwood coach Paul Stone paces in front of his bench during their game against host Franklin at Darrell Hedric Gymnasium on Tuesday night. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY E.L. HUBBARD

About the Author