The Franklin-Simpson boys’ basketball team shook off the rust in Monday’s 71-63 win over Warren East in the opening game of the Best in Hoops Holiday Tournament at South Warren High School.

Playing for the first time in 10 days, Franklin-Simpson (4-1) overcame a slow start with a strong defensive effort that forced 22 turnovers by the Raiders.

“We knew we had a long break, we hadn’t played in over a week,” Franklin-Simpson senior guard Andreyas Miller said. “So we knew we had to come in and take care of business. We had to do everything right and play hard.”

Warren East (4-3) entered with three straight wins, including a 67-66 District 14 win over South Warren on Friday. The Raiders were able to build a 17-10 lead after one quarter on the strength of five 3-pointers.

The Wildcats were able to chip away before using an 11-0 run to surge in front 30-23 late in the second quarter. Warren East stemmed the tide with five points to close the half – including a putback by Isaiah Andrews at the horn – to close the gap to 30-28 at the break.

Franklin-Simpson started strong in the third quarter, with a flurry of transition buckets off turnovers. The Wildcats scored eight straight to push the margin to 45-33 midway through the third quarter. Warren East struggled on the offensive end with seven turnovers in the third, trailing 56-48 heading into the fourth quarter.

“They did a good job of switching (defenses),” Warren East coach Kyle Benge said. “They went to a 1-3-1 in the second quarter and our guards just didn’t do a very good job of taking care of the basketball. We weren’t strong with it. That led to a lot of easy turnovers that led to transition baskets. We knew coming into the game that they were going to 1-3-1 us. We walked through some things, but until you see their length and how athletic they are it’s hard to simulate.”

Franklin-Simpson continued to control the pace in the final quarter, leading by as many as 16 points before Warren East made a mini-charge late to get the final deficit under double digits.

“It was exactly what we talked about after the first quarter – we had to get the rust off,” Franklin-Simpson coach Dee Spencer said. “I thought the guys played well after that. I feel like our zone kind of changed the flow of the game a little bit and the guys did a great job of getting their hands on the ball.”

Miller led the way for the Wildcats with 25 points, while Gabe Jones added 15 points.

Andrews had 26 points to lead Warren East. Tay Price and Kaleb Matlock added 10 points each for the Raiders.

“Winning on Friday doesn’t mean anything in this tournament,” Benge said. “I think they came out maybe a little bit reeling off of Friday night, thinking that we are a little bit better than we are right now. Every day you have to bring it as hard as you can. I told the guys that I feel like that is the first game all season an opponent outplayed us and outphysicaled us.”

Both teams continue play in the South Warren tournament on Tuesday. Warren East will play Doss at 1 p.m. Franklin-Simpson will play Pulaski County at 3 p.m.

WEHS 17 11 20 15 – 63

FSHS 10 20 26 15 – 71

WE – Andrews 26, Price 10, Matlock 10, Doyle 6, Barric 5, Carver 4, Parsley 2.

FS – Miller 25, Jones 15, Briscoe 9, Gamble 8, Vincent 7, Dickerson 4, Myler 3.{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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