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Injury to Mack shortens up Franklin girls basketball roster

But behind Mihalko, Sabers still should be tough

Nov. 27, 2012

Franklin - It still might end up being a good season for the tradition-rich Franklin girls basketball team, but coach Tony Kathrens could still find himself asking "what-if?" at the end as the Sabers try to deal with the preseason injury loss of 5-10 junior center Montana Mack.

"It was an ACL (in the knee)," Kathrens said. "We're still going to have improved team speed and I'm loving our defense right now, but because of Montana's loss, it will be tough sledding at times for us."

The Sabers opened their campaign last week with a narrow 51-48 loss to Greater Metro favorite DSHA Nov. 20, and then buried Green Bay Preble in the Brookfield Central tourney last Saturday.

Franklin returns to the court Dec. 4 when it opens Southeast Conference play at Racine Horlick.

The Sabers finished the 2011-12 season with a 16-9 record that included a WIAA regional championship and a loss to area rival Muskego in sectional semifinal play.

Even without Mack, there is still plenty of talent from that team.

It starts with 5-10 senior forward Cassidy Mihalko, a first-team all-SEC pick and a NOW Newspapers All-Suburban selection last season. She just committed to California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif.

She is a preseason second-team all-state selection.

Other returnees include 5-4 senior point guard Jenny Eickhorst (51 three-pointers last season), 5-7 senior guard Katie Nord, 5-8 junior forward Morgan McCuen, 5-8 junior Taylor Schell and 5-7 junior Megan Carr.

Also helping out this year will be 5-7 sophomore Nala Mudd, who transferred from Heritage Christian, a team that won the WIAA Division 5 state championship last year, and freshman 5-11 Sarah Neumann and 5-9 Carly Graverson.

"I think we're going to have a deeper bench this year and I think our fast break will be better, too," Kathrens said. "With Cassidy (Mihalko) in there we have a chance in almost every game. Oak Creek is going to be our main competition in the Southeast. It's going to be an interesting year."

Against DSHA, Franklin took a 19-12 lead, but then the powerful Dashers outscored them 12-2 in the second quarter. All-state guard Arike Ogunbowale scored 24 points for DSHA while Mihalko had 20 and Eickhorst 15 for Franklin.

Against Preble, a 14-5 second quarter did the trick for the Sabers as Mihalko had 12 and Eickhorst 10.

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