Ron Kluth will pretty much give it to you straight. He is not much into sugar coating.
So although his Franklin girls basketball team was right with Brookfield Central for half of its 39-30 loss in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal at Greenfield on March 6, Kluth laid it out with few strings attached.
"We didn't really play well," Kluth said. "I thought we brought our like, C-plus game. They were ready and up to it and played really well, Brookfield Central.
"We missed a ton of shots. It wasn't a good game for us. It was OK, but nothing to the caliber that you've got to come prepared for in this kind of game."
Franklin (17-6) was done in by a poor start. The Sabers trailed the Lancers, 8-3, after one quarter and it was 22-8 with about two minutes to play in the half.
The Sabers got a big lift from senior guard Jackie Ward, who made a pair of 3-point baskets to help the Sabers close to 25-18 by halftime.
"Jackie Ward got us going again," Kluth said. "No one was stepping up and taking it upon themselves to try and score."
Franklin closed the gap to 30-25 after three quarters, but that was as close as it got.
"We'd come down and we'd make unforced turnovers," Kluth said.
The Sabers were not very good from the free-throw line, either. Kluth disagreed with the scorebook that had his team making eight of 12.
"We were five points away, then we'd go to the line and we'd miss two free throws," Kluth said. "I think we were 8-for-16. How can you win a game being 8-for-16, or something like that?"
Senior forward Shannon Narlock led Franklin with 14 points.
"She played really, really well," Kluth said. "Up-and-unders, and turnarounds. She got their big girl into foul problems early."
No other Saber could reach double figures. Ward was next with six points.
"We just couldn't finish it off," Kluth said.
This was the second straight Franklin season to end in a sectional semifinal loss to Brookfield Central. Last year the final was 64-59.
"They bring just about everybody back," said Kluth, who loses seven seniors, but has a promising nucleus coming back. "So it'll be tough again."
- Jerry Karpowicz,
Check out a photo gallery from Franklin's sectional semifinal game against Brookfield Central
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