The Franklin-Simpson boys’ basketball team found itself in another down-to-the-wire nail-biter Thursday at South Warren, using a fourth-quarter rally to slip past the Spartans 78-74.

Franklin-Simpson (12-13) erased a 12-point second-half deficit, scoring the final seven points to complete the comeback and improve to 7-7 in games decided by 10 points or less.

“Anytime you got down like that, the main thing is to try and chip away and get stops,” Franklin-Simpson coach Dee Spencer said. “We got stops and were able to make stops in the fourth quarter. We made good basketball decisions and I feel like that was the difference in the game.”

The Wildcats’ late surge came on a night when both offenses clicked from the start. Franklin-Simpson shot 50 percent from the field for the game, while South Warren (14-13) shot 61.7 percent.

Both teams scored 21 points in the first quarter, with the Spartans closing the first half with a 7-2 spurt to take a 39-33 advantage.

The margin grew to 62-50 after Caden Veltkamp’s basket late in the third quarter, but the Wildcats came storming back – using a 16-0 run to surge in front 66-62 with 6:40 left in the fourth quarter.

South Warren was able to halt the momentum, eventually regaining the lead when TayShaun Jones’ 3-pointer made the score 72-69 with 4:12 left. DeMarco Chatman’s three-point play tied the score before Caleb Mitchell-Franklin hit a pair of free throws to give the Spartans a 74-72 advantage.

The Wildcats responded as KyJuan Stutzman drained a 3 with 3:07 left to make the score 75-74. South Warren came up empty on its next possession and the Wildcats held the ball for nearly two minutes before Tedric Partinger hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 77-74 with 1:04 remaining.

“That’s something we haven’t worked on in a while, but they were able to execute it,” Spencer said. “That’s what we’ve been talking about – executing down the stretch, making good basketball decisions. We were able to do it (tonight).”

The Spartans turned it over on the next possession and Chatman split a pair of free throws with 13.9 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and seal the win.

Stutzman finished with 23 points to lead the Wildcats. Chatman added 18 points, while Partinger finished with 11 points.

“It’s (important win),” Stutzman said. “We practice and practice hard to prepare for this game. At halftime coach got onto us and it built a little anger in us. We came together, played hard and finished the game.”

Mitchell-Franklin finished with a game-high 27 points for the Spartans. Jones had 14 points, while Jace Carver added 12 points and Veltkamp finished with 10 points.

“It comes down to defense,” South Warren coach Blane Embry said. “We just want to shoot the ball. We just want to play offense and we don’t want to keep the other team from scoring. Franklin made plays. They deserve the win.”

South Warren will play at Clinton County at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Franklin-Simpson hosts Warren East at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

FSHS 21 12 25 20 – 78

SWHS 21 18 23 12 – 74

FSHS – Stutzman 23, Chatman 18, Partinger 11, Miller 9, Knight 8, Briscoe 7, Lacouture 2.

SWHS – Mitchell-Franklin 27, Jones 14, Carver 12, Veltkamp 10, Stobaugh 7, Hill 2, Putnam 2.

South Warren 63, Franklin-Simpson 36, girls

The Spartans outscored the Lady Cats 38-11 in the second half to break open a close game and beat Franklin for the second time this season.

“We tell our girls, defense has to feed offense,” South Warren coach Lane Embry said. “I thought our defense was a little bit lax in the first half. We didn’t do some of the things we normally do in the first half. Our girls just picked up the intensity in the second half.”

The teams went into the locker room tied 25-all at halftime, but South Warren (13-14) seized control by outscoring the Lady Cats 19-5 in the third quarter – including a 10-0 run over the final two minutes.

The Spartans continued to pull away in the fourth, with Franklin-Simpson (10-15) unable to get closer than 11 points in the final eight minutes.

Taylor Enlow led the Spartans with 16 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots.

“I have been in a lot of foul trouble lately,” Enlow said. “Lane has been getting on me about that, so I’m trying to stay out of (foul trouble). It was good to help my team out like that.”

Alera Barbee had 11 points to lead the Lady Cats.

“Hats off to South Warren,” Franklin coach Lex Lindsey said. “They hit some shots in the second half, created some separation and that was the difference in the game.”

South Warren plays at Henderson County at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Franklin-Simpson plays at Fort Campbell at 6 p.m. on Friday.

FSHS 10 15 5 6 – 36

SWHS 13 12 19 19 – 63

FSHS – Barbee 11, Wilson 8, Norwood 8, McCutchen 7, Partinger 2.

SWHS – T. Enlow 16, Stevenson 9, Hodges 8, Reynolds 8, Bennett 6, Bush 6, Deaton 3, Frank 3, Garrett 2, C. Enlow 2.{&end}

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


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