Lions miss first win by split second
BROOKVILLE – Was it or wasn’t it?
This will be the lingering question from Friday night’s Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game
between the visiting Rushville Lions and host Franklin County Wildcats.
Lion sophomore XxZavien Jenkins appeared to give Rushville its first victory since January when he
swished a three-pointer from the right wing with time expiring. But time had indeed expired, according
to the conferring officials, so within seconds the Lions and their fans went from jubilation to
disappointment at hearing the Franklin County fight song and staring at a 34-32 deficit on the
The visitors led throughout the first three quarters and didn’t surrender their advantage until 5:39 of the
fourth when FC senior Brant Ertel hit a 12-foot jump shot from the left side. The score held at 32-30 for
well over two minutes. At the 3-minute mark, Lion senior Kameron Morton came up with a steal and got
to the foul line for a Rushville point.
Another 90 seconds passed before a ball went through the hoop; Ertel converted in the lane to make it
34-31. With just under a minute left, both teams found themselves in the bonus. Neither took
advantage as FC missed the front end of two one-and-ones and the Lions sank just one of five free
attempts. At exactly 8 seconds, coach Ryan Ehm called timeout to set up a final play. Morton had an
open look from three, but his shot was way off target; teammate Dylan Thompson saved it off an FC
The clock showed .2 seconds, but Rushville’s staff asked for, and received, another tenth of a tick. The
addition proved to be too minimal in the end.
Thompson got the Lions started with a traditional 3-point play early in the contest, to go with a blocked
shot. FC first found the net with 5:18 on the clock, senior Jace Lee scoring on the block. Rushville
answered with three baskets – a feed to Nick Jarman, a steal and score by Morton and Morton’s assist
to a cutting Jarman. The Cats played on versus calling for time and got three of those points back by the
end of the frame. Senior Tanner Weartz’s bucket off an Ertel assist made it 9-5.
Weartz and Thompson did battle on the inside as the second quarter unfolded; Weartz came up with his
second and third blocks of the night, but Thompson added four points to make it 13-5. Lion point guard
Quentin Cain later put in a nice reverse layup with his off hand for a 15-6 lead. Seconds later, Morton
scored off the glass to put the guests up by 11.
Still avoiding a timeout, FC corrected with several makes in a row … all courtesy of Ertel. The senior Cat
hit a deep 3, scored on a lob from Lee and added an and-one opportunity that he couldn’t quite finish.
Just before the break, Jarman passed to Cain for a corner three. It was 20-13 at the half.
Lee and Brady Morehead hoops opened second-half scoring, making it a one-possession game. Cain
then put one in off the window and Thompson did the same. Morehead kept FC close with his fifth point
of the quarter. The free throw started a tying 7-0 run by the Wildcats; Lee scored on a follow-up and
Weartz added four points. Ertel and Morehead goals around a Jarman deuce (from Morton) made it a
30-30 game with 6:11 remaining.
Ertel led all scorers with 13 and Thompson had 10. Morehead scored 8, Morton and Cain 7 each, Lee,
Weartz and Jarman 6 apiece, Jenkins a basket and Quinn Gillman a foul shot for FC.
FC improved to 4-0 and 2-0 in league play. RCHS (0-4, 0-2) dropped its 12th consecutive game overall.
Rushville stays in conference at Lawrenceburg Friday, followed by Centerville’s visit to Memorial Gym
Saturday night. Centerville has lost 29 straight games. FC hosts South Ripley tonight, Dec. 10.