Let’s do it again: Franklin Monroe earns D-IV CCC rematch vs. Covington

Losing to Covington in the girls high school basketball season still packs a wallop on Franklin Monroe. That’s why earning a coveted postseason rematch was important for the Jets.

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“Ever since that game, we’ve had this circled,” admitted FM coach Abby (Davenport) Moore following Wednesday’s game-ending 10-0 run that clinched a 43-28 Division IV sectional semifinal defeat of Troy Christian.

“The game is huge. Not only for our season, but for our program. We’re playing so motivated. We’ve had to overcome quite a bit of adversity.”

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Covington opened Wednesday’s doubleheader with a 78-8 thumping of Jefferson. Then it was on Franklin Monroe to make it an all-Cross County Conference sectional final. The Jets did just that with a strong finish after the Eagles cut their deficit to five points with less than six minutes left.

Covington (20-3) and Franklin Monroe (18-6) will play in a D-IV upper bracket sectional final at Brookville on Wednesday. CCC champion Tri-Village (22-1) is matched against conference rival Bradford (18-6) in the doubleheader opener at 6 p.m.

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Covington, Franklin Monroe and Miami East all tied for second in the CCC (10-2) behind unbeaten Tri-Village (12-0). Covington defeated host Franklin Monroe 59-47 in late December. Tri-Village defeated host Bradford 37-18 in Game 3 in late November.

Covington senior Sammi Whiteman scored 32 points against Jefferson – all but two in the first half – and surpassed Lynnette Roeth (1988-92) as the Buccs’ all-time career scoring leader with 1,882 points. That’s also good for No. 2 all-time in Miami County scoring history behind Bethel’s Kelly (Lyons) Cash, who accumulated 2,212 points from 1982-86.

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Chloe Peters led Franklin Monroe with 13 points and Corina Conley added 12. Sarah Earhart scored 12 points to lead Troy Christian (17-7).

Franklin Monroe lost starting junior point guard Audrey Cable with a blown ACL in Week 2. Another starter, Kennedy Morris, tore a knee meniscus two weeks ago on senior night and won’t return.

“We’re not going to wilt,” said Moore, a 2006 FM grad who played on a Jets team that advanced to a regional. “It’s an opportunity for the next man up. All year, we’ve had that somebody step up.”

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Conley, a 5-foot-11 junior who’s also a volleyball standout, is the Jets’ leading scorer and rebounder. She’s also the younger sister of Jets senior standout Ethan Conley, who has signed with Ashland University to play basketball.

The entire Jets boys team anchors behind the FM girls team on game nights and cranks up the encouragement. That’s where they’ll be against Covington, too.

“They’re great supporters and we love having them there,” said Corina, who recently surpassed 1,000 career points. “I can’t wait. We’re all looking forward to a rematch.”

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Next week’s winners advance to D-IV district finals at Troy on Saturday, March 2.

Centerville 78, Sidney 8: Cotie McMahon scored 18 points, Alexis Hutchison 14 and Kelsey George 11 in leading the top-seeded Elks in the D-I girls sectional at Troy. Centerville (22-2) will play Springboro (15-9) in a sectional final on Monday at Troy. Springboro advanced by defeating Edgewood 51-23. Centerville edged host Springboro 54-51 in the regular season.

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Bellbrook 55, Alter 40: Kayla Paul had 13 points and Maria Mescher 11 to lead the streaking Golden Eagles in a D-II sectional semi at Lebanon. Bellbrook (14-10) has won eight of its previous nine games and will play Valley View (17-7) in a sectional final at Lebanon on Monday. Valley View advanced by defeating Monroe 41-36. Alter (14-10) had a six-game win streak snapped.

Carroll 56, Belmont 14: The top-seeded Patriots took out a second Dayton City League team in the D-II sectional at Springfield. Carroll (22-2) will play Eaton (9-15) in a sectional final at Springfield on Monday. Bailey Shepherd had 20 points as Eaton advanced by eliminating Bellefontaine 57-38.

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Miami East 43, Preble Shawnee 25: Morgan Haney's 28 points paced the Vikings in a D-III sectional semi at Covington. Miami East (17-7) will play West Liberty-Salem (21-3) in a sectional final on Monday. WL-Salem started the season 0-3 and won its 21st consecutive game by defeating Northridge 66-23.

• All four boys sectional tournaments begin with first-round games on Friday and Saturday.

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