Franklin takes care of Oakwood behind their strong defensive performance

Franklin, Ohio — Oakwood and Franklin met on Friday for an early SWBL showdown. The Lumberjacks fell on Tuesday to Bellbrook which was very surprising as the Eagles were without Gabe Pavlak. Franklin blewout Kings the week prior and were looking to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Nate Paarlberg and Noah Rich are both juniors that have stepped up in big ways for the Wildcats. That duo paired with sharpshooting senior Isaiah Bales and starting point guard Tez Lattimore makes for a solid team.

Tez Lattimore got the steal and score for Franklin and then Sam Stack got the scoring started for Oakwood as he got a bucket off an assist from Fairmont transfer Keon Wright. Franklin’s zone immediatley began giving Oakwood problems. Sophomore star Will Maxwell threw the ball out of bounds and the Wildcats continued to force Keon Wright to pass the ball away.

Both teams traded buckets as Nate Paarlberg got an and-one and then Maxwell netted a deep three for Oakwood. Dan Flannery‘s buzzer-beater attempet was just a second late as Oakwood trailed at the end of the 1st, 13-7.

Franklin’s zone continued to work well as Paarlberg forced a turnover and then made the pass to Noah irch for the easy basket. They then forced another turnover and Lattimore dished it to Paarlberg for another easy two points as Franklin extended their lead to double-digits. Oakwood was then forced to burn a timeout as Jayden Bennett hit a three for Franklin and the ‘Jacks threw the ball out-of-bounds on their next possession.

Nate Paarlberg continued to attack for Franklin as he seemed unstoppable getting inside layup and layup. Eventually, Keon Wright got in the scoring column with a three and cut the deficit to 26-14. But right after that, Tez Lattimore hit a three of his own for Franklin and then Noah Rich got a steal and then the transition layup to make it a 31-14 ballgame. Franklin led 38-18 at the break.

It appeared Oakwood had started to go on a run to begin the second half as Will Maxwell got three straight buckets on three straight possessions and then Keon Wright made a transition layup to cut the Wildcat lead to just thirteen. Then they left Isaiah Bales wide open for three, which he drained. Then a Noah Rich layup and a three off of a friendly roll, gave Franklin a twenty-one point lead again. Franklin was up 54-31 heading into the final quarter of basketball.

Franklin would go on to win the game 56-39 as they mostly held the ball in the fourth quarter. Paarlberg led the Wildcats with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Noah Rich added on 13 points and Isaiah Bales had 9 points off of 3 three-pointers. Franklin will shift their focus to Monroe as they battle the Hornets next Tuesday while Oakwood will look to get back in the win column with a matchup against Valley View at home on Tuesday.

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