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Franklin boys get defensive in earning two league wins

Sabers earn sixth seed in WIAA sectional

Feb. 12, 2013

After a recent frustrating run, the Franklin boys basketball team regained its footing last week with a pair of nice wins, taking down Racine Park, 50-45, Feb. 5 and then beating Kenosha Tremper, 63-49, Friday.

The victory over Tremper broke a seven-game losing streak to the Trojans.

"We just wanted to start playing well down the stretch," coach Tim Hogan said. "The end of the regular season is so important as you get ready for the (WIAA) tourney. Our defense was very effective both nights as we held both teams to under 50 points."

The Sabers improved to 10-11 overall with the two wins, as they close out their regular season at Southeast Conference champion Racine Case on Friday.

"It's a good closer," Hogan said, "because it'll be like the competition we see in the state playoffs."

Franklin claimed the sixth seed in the very tightly packed WIAA Racine Horlick sectional (five teams with records between 11-10 and 9-11). They will head over to Southeast runner-up Racine Horlick on Feb. 22 for a WIAA regional semifinal.

The Sabers have lost twice to the Rebels, once in overtime and the second time by 12.

Hogan is hoping the third time is the charm. If the Sabers win that game, they will advance to a regional final Feb. 23 against the winner of second-seeded Case and West Allis Hale.

In the victory over Tremper Friday, the Sabers outscored the Trojans every quarter. It was still only a five-point game going into the fourth period, but Franklin outscored Tremper by nine in that final session.

Colin Ksobiech led the way with 17 as Chad Kanugh had 16, Evan Kruczynski 11 and Bryce Pierzchalski nine.

It was senior night for Franklin, with the only two on the squad for the Sabers being Ernie Zazueta and Kruczynski. Kruczynski had a great stat-stuffing game for thee sabers with six rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and six steals.

Against Park, the Sabers had an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter and then held on for the win, as Kanugh had 18 points and 10 rebounds ("He was very aggressive on the glass," Hogan said) while Kosbiech had 13 points and nine rebounds. Andy Suvaka helped out with six points and three rebounds.

Again Hogan came back to the defensive effort.

"We've been struggling to come up with efforts like this on the defensive end all season and I take personal responsibility for that," he said. "It's been a struggle, but we're working hard to put the kids in the best possible positions."

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