The Franklin 6th grade boys basketball team played in the Wisconsin State Invitational Championship Tournament in Wausau WI on March 26th and 27th. This tournament featured 86 sixth grade teams from all over Wisconsin. The field is divided into divisions based on the enrollment of each high school. It is the most prestigious youth basketball tournament in the State of Wisconsin.
Franklin started off Saturday morning matched up against a very quick Manitowoc Lincoln team. Franklin lead at the half 20 - 16. As has been the case all season Franklin tightened up the defense in the second half only allowing 6 points over the last two quarters and beat Manitowoc Lincoln 36 - 22.
Game two matched up Franklin against Bay Port. These two teams met in the State Tourney last year and Bay Port came out with a three point win so both teams new this would be a cat fight. Franklin took an early lead and held a 19 - 14 lead at half. Bayport stormed back in the third and held a 32 - 21 lead after three quarters. Franklin found the range in the fourth and with an emotional lift from the Franklin faithful the boys tied the game at 37 - 37 in the closing seconds. This battle headed into OT where Franklin came away victorious 42 - 41.
Emotionally and physically exhausted Franklin now had to play a very good and a very tall DePere team. This game was close throughout however DePere came out victorious in the end 29-26.
With a 2-1 record Franklin was placed as a 3 seed in the sweet sixteen. Facing the always powerful Middleton team Franklin faced an up hill battle and the tired legs of the Franklin team led to a lopsided 57 - 22 Middleton victory.
Franklin came back on Sunday morning to face Eau Claire Memorial. In what was a very well played game Franklin made 10 of 13 free throws down the stretch to beat EC Memorial 54 - 42.
Franklin was now to face DePere again in the sixth and final game of this two day tourney. Franklin got out to a quick lead and although the game was close throughout Franklin was not going to be denied by DePere again and in the closing minutes Franklin took the lead for good and denied DePere a good look at a final shot.
Franklin finished in 13th place at 4 - 2 losing to Middleton the eventual winner of the tourney and DePere, a team they came back to beat in the final game.
A great season for the Franklin Sabers 6th grade boys basketball team. When asked for a comment after the tourney the Franklin coach said, "I can't be more proud of 10 kids. They worked extremely hard and they made many sacrafices to be here. There is no quit in these 10 players and it will be our goal to get back here again next year and compete with these great teams from around the state all over again."
The Franklin 6th Grade Roster: Caleb Willert, Kyle Lewis, Carson Manning, Ryan Zakszewski, Jay Piotter, Marcus Lee, Ethan Wittenburg, Dan Schauer, Zach Poweleit, Latron Kirk-Sprewer Jr. Coaches: Steve Lee, Pat Zakszewski
Good luck and great job Franklin!
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