Tenacious Franklin boys overcome free-throw woes to edge Park, 49-45
Sabers earn first two-game win streak of year
Franklin boys basketball coach Tim Hogan knows that his team is never going to win on style points this season, but he does feel good about his squad's ability to reach the bottom line of claiming critical games.
Such as what occurred last Friday, when the Sabers outlasted Racine Park, 49-45, in a not-so-pretty Southeast Conference decision.
"We'll take the victory," he said. "Anytime you can get a win on the road, you take it. We missed some front ends. We missed a lot of free throws in general (11), but we were able to keep them at arm's-length and we took care of the ball reasonably well too (16 turnovers). We just held them off."
And with that, the Sabers, who are 2-3 in Southeast play and 5-6 overall, now have their first two-game winning streak of the season.
"There's no better time to start piling up the wins," Hogan said. Franklin took on Kenosha Tremper on Tuesday and will host Racine Case in a pair of Southeast games this week.
In the victory over Park, the Sabers took small leads at the quarter (14-12) and the half (24-20). The advantage did get to 10 points at one moment in the second half, but the Sabers could never quite put their foot down and put the Panthers away.
"It was a six-point game with about two minutes to go," Hogan said, "and then it fell into a pattern. They'd get a bucket, then they'd foul."
But it was not as easy as all that, as the Sabers went just 13 of 24 from the foul line for the night as both forward Chad Kanugh (six of 10) and guard Nick Bobos (one of six) struggled from the charity stripe.
Kanugh, however finally did hit two clutch free throws with about six seconds left to make it a four-point game, which finally allowed Hogan to breathe.
"This is the second or third game where we've missed double-digit free throws," Hogan said. "We just need to do a better job of converting (at the line). It also didn't help that we missed some easy layups and they got some second-chance opportunities."
Kanugh led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Bobos had eight points and six rebounds and Evan Kruczynski had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Hogan likes the team's tenacity going forward.
"You can't coach hunger or desire," he said. "Take Nick (Bobos). He was so upset with his free throws that he wanted to go to practice right away (after the game) and start working on them. When the kids have the hunger and desire like that, it makes it easier for us as coaches. It means we can work together and come to solutions for our problems."
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