Franklin County routs Oldenburg in 20-point win

OLDENBURG – In a Friday afternoon matinee inside the Hillenbrand Family Feldhaus, the visiting Franklin County Wildcats pulled away from host Oldenburg Academy with 30 points over the first 10 minutes of the second half to ultimately post a 68-48 win.

It certainly didn’t look like the teams would combine for over 100 points based on an 8-5 first quarter (still 0-0 at 3:06) that saw the first field goal scored in the seventh minute of play. This came from OA sophomore Jacob Stenger, whose traditional 3-point play drew the Twisters within 4-3. FC senior Brant Ertel then buried a deep three off an Eli Butt assist and OA senior Jacob Hoff answered with a bucket.

A steal by junior Conner Miles led to two foul shots and an 8-7 affair early in the second stanza. But the rest of the period belonged to the guests. Senior Jace Lee scored on a follow-up hoop and Ertel added a kickout three from Xander Rodriguez. OA coach Michael Higdon called timeout at 5:23, down by six.

A drive by senior Brady Morehead continued what would be a 12-0 run for FC; Lee scored again and Ertel settled from beyond the arc one more time (Lee assist). Miles finally broke the string with a short shot, followed by a feed to Lee to make it 22-9. With time running out in the half, the Twisters’ Isaiah Waggoner hit an excuse-me three to cut the deficit to a more manageable 10.

The final half was a direct contrast to the first as the offenses exploded to produce 82 more points.

Morehead made 1 of 2 at the stripe to start out a 7-0 swing for the Wildcats. Senior Tanner Weartz (Lee assist) and Lee (Ertel ast.) made it 27-12 before Ertel cleaned up a loose ball for two more. Miles then hit off the glass for OA’s first points of the half. Miles later got to the line for two charities to make it 29-16.

Then it was FC senior Landen Wuestefeld’s turn. The Blonde Bomber uncorked a trio of threes and scored 11 of FC’s next 15 points. His third triple put FC up by 20, doubling OA up at 40-20. A Quinn Gillman goal later made it 42-22. OA hit the bonus toward the end of the third and cut the deficit to 16. An old-fashioned three-point play by Butt had FC up 47-28 after the offense-filled frame.

The Cats had their biggest lead of the day when Morehead found Ertel on a backdoor cut to start the fourth. The 8-0 run also featured a Rodriguez foul shot and Ertel’s feed to Morehead in transition. At 52-28, Zach Hoff answered for the home team but a steal and scoop by Ertel made it 54-30.

Waggoner hit a three off a Stenger assist ahead of Weartz following in his own miss. J. Hoff scored a pair of fielders, including a 3-pointer ahead of an OA timeout at the midpoint of the fourth with the scoreboard reading 58-39.

Miles knocked in a three, but Lee once again put FC up by 20 and Higdon asked for time at 3:12. Weartz’s fifth foul led to two freebies by J. Hoff. Down the stretch, Ertel fed Rodriguez for two and completed a 3-point play before exiting the game. Stenger’s 2-of-2 at the line were the game’s last points.

Ertel led all players with 24 points and Lee joined Wuestefeld with 11. Weartz added 6, Morehead 5, Butt 5, XRod 4 and Gillman 2. Miles paced OA with 17 and J. Hoff totaled 11. Stenger put in 9, Waggoner 8, Z. Hoff 2 and Jacob Cornelius a free throw.

FC (7-3) hosts Union County Friday while Oldenburg (3-5) is at Shawe Memorial Friday and travels to North Decatur Saturday night.

At Muncie Central (Dec. 27)

The Muncie Central Bearcat defense held the Wildcats to a season-low offensive total last Tuesday as the host school won 44-29. FC had just 19 going into the fourth as the Bearcats were up by 14.

Ertel was the only FC player to grace double figures, finishing with 15 tallies on 3-of-5 from downtown and scoring over half his team’s output. Weartz had 6, Wuestefeld 3, Lee 3 and Gillman 2. Antonio Gore led Muncie with 10 and Demarkis Cole added 9.

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