LEWISBURG — The Tri-County North girls basketball team lost 57-39 to Franklin Monroe on Monday, Dec. 21, in their only game of the week.
It was a four-point game through one quarter, but FM used a 17-point second to push that margin to 10 as they headed into halftime up 30-20.
North struggled to defend the Jets 6’1” center Hannah Eley in the first half of play. Eley scored 18 of FM’s 30 points in that span.
“We had a hard time keeping the lob passes away from (Eley’s) hands. She was very hard to stop in the first half,” said head coach Jessica Cherry. “We played a 1-3-1 and we weren’t able keep the ball out of her hands.”
Out of the break, the Panthers decided to switch up their 1-3-1 zone defense and try man-to-man instead. It proved to be somewhat effective, as they held Eley to only two points in the second half.
But FM got help from their outside shooters and were able to keep North at a safe distance.
The Panthers did get a career day from senior Tiarra Alford, who scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
“She came off the bench with a lot of intensity along with guarding Eley,” said Cherry on her efforts.
Cassi Stinson chipped in nine points and five rebounds while Sara Harris had four points, Riley Cruse had three, and Shyanna Baker added two on the night.
North will have the week off and will pick up their season on Monday, Jan. 4 when they travel to Mississinawa Valley for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off. They also host Newton on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.