Franklin-Simpson senior Andreyas Miller set another career high in points with 34 as the Wildcats improved to 2-0 in the 13th District with a 60-52 win over the Russellville Panthers.
“Oh man, I had the hot hand with three ball tonight,” Miller said. “Feeling good about how I played and how we held Russellville to 52 points. We just want to prove our point, prove to everyone and show them that we want to win the district championship this year.”
The Wildcats are 3-1 overall for the season, 2-0 in the district while the Panthers fall to 1-1 in district play with an overall record of 3-3.
“Being 2 and 0 in the district is huge,” Wildcats head coach Dee Spencer said. “As I said on WFKN radio, I will take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”
Russellville jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with baskets from senior Jaquis Toss and junior Javari Gamble. The lead changed two more times with Miller’s two 3-pointers and sophomore Demarcus Hogan’s 3-pointer gave Franklin-Simpson an 11-9 lead. Senior Josh Allen’s basket at the end of the quarter tied the game at 11-11 at the end of the first.
The Wildcats maintained their lead in the 2nd Quarter as Miller, who made two more 3-pointers, scored 12 of the team’s 15 points. Hogan also drained another 3-pointer, his second of the game, as they built a 26-16 lead. The Panthers closed the 1st Half on a 7-0 run with four points from Gamble and a traditional three-point play from sophomore Layne Steele as they trailed 26-23 at halftime.
Miller, who made his fifth 3-pointer of the game, scored Franklin-Simpson’s first eight points in the 3rd Quarter. Todd scored seven points for Russellville as they trailed by two, 34-32. Senior Kujuan Stutzman got into rhythm as he knocked his first 3-pointer of the game, scoring seven points overall but senior Marlon Sims got some key rebounds and scored four points, including his putback off a missed shot as time expired that gave the Wildcats a 45-37 lead athe end of three.
With eight points from Miller and four from Hogan, Franklin-Simpson was able to extend their lead to as high as 13 points, 58-45 in the 4th Quarter. Junior Jalen Brisoce added a basket late to keep the Wildcats’ lead in double digits. The Panthers made five free throws in the final minute as Franklin-Simpson remained perfect in the 13th District with their 60-52 victory over Russellville.
“We held them to 52 points but I feel like we didn’t play very good defense tonight to be honest,” Spencer said. “We went for a few steals we shouldn’t have. We took some chances. We were lunging after balls. We were not playing good solid team defense. We weren’t containing the ball at times. We gotta clean that stuff up. We got to do a better job. Play smarter.”
Along with Miller’s career and game high of 34 points, Demarcus Hogan scored 10 points for the Wildcats with Kyjuan Stutzman adding nine. Marlon Sims scored five points with two points from Jalen Briscoe.
“Great to play with consistent energy, rebounding and defense,” Sims said. “Everything was alright tonight and we got the win on Senior Night. I played with these guys in middle school and now I get to play my final year with them.”
“Andreyas (Miller) is leading us. He’s being more vocal and had the mindset heading into the season that he would play like this but tonight, Marlon (Sims) was the difference in the game,” Spencer said. “3rd Quarter, he was always around the ball and his energy. His putback at the end of that quarter to give us an eight-point lead was huge.”
The Panthers had three players scoring in double digits led by Jaquis Todd with 12 points with Josh Allen scoring 11 points and Javari Gamble adding 10.
The Wildcats team will not play games this week. Games scheduled for Tuesday, Friday and Saturday have been postponed. More information regarding these changes is To Be Announced.