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Franklin Regional boys top Kiski Area for key section win

| Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, 9:42 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Aidan Sadoski battles Kiski Area's Delino Franklin for a loose ball during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Kiski Area's Kyle Harris drives to basket against Franklin Regional's David Baker (left) and Simon Behr during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's David Baker battles Kiski Area's Connor Martin for a rebound during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Hunter Stonecheck drives to basket against Kiski Area's Ryne Wallace during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Simon Behr scoes past Kiski Area's Connor Martin during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Nate Leopold battles Kiski Area's Delino Franklin for a loose ball during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Zane Flynn makes a move around Kiski Area's Nicholas Bisceglia during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Nate Leopold steals the ball from Kiski Area's Delino Franklin during their game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Murrysville.

If one thing stood out in Franklin Regional's win Tuesday against Kiski Area, it was the way the Panthers played defense.

Franklin Regional stymied Kiski Area over the final three quarters and pulled out an important 49-36 Section 3-5A victory.

The win improved the Panthers to 9-9 overall and 4-4 in the section. Kiski Area fell to 10-7 and 5-3.

“For us to come out and play a complete game was important,” Franklin Regional coach Brad Midgley said.

“Other than we allowed a couple offensive rebounds in the first quarter, I can't complain. I thought we played well defensively.”

Kiski Area grabbed a 14-8 lead after one quarter behind Jon Bracy's seven points.

Bracy finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds but was held scoreless over the middle two quarters when Franklin Regional seized control.

The Panthers trailed 17-13 and 20-19 before they made a 7-1 run to end the half and take a 26-21 lead at halftime.

Hunter Stonecheck and Zane Flynn each scored seven points in the quarter. Flynn finished with 11 points.

“They did a good job defensively, and we missed some shots we usually make,” Kiski Area coach Joey Tutchstone said.

“We settled for too many 3s. When we're down, I want them getting aggressive and drive to the hoop. We had a lot of passes around the perimeter.”

Franklin Regional outscored Kiski, 30-16, over the middle two quarters and took a 38-30 lead into the final eight minutes.

Simon Behr, who finished with 17 points, scored 13 in the second half as Kiski's defense couldn't stop him in the paint.

“Both Simon and Hunter are important pieces for us,” Midgley said.

“We'll need them, and I'd like to get on a run before the end of the season.”

In the fourth quarter, Franklin Regional was able to push the lead to double figures as Behr and Nate Leopold made crucial shots.

The Panthers' largest lead was 49-33.

“I don't know why, but when we fall behind we get a little tight,” Tutchstone said.

“We needed someone to step up and no one did.”

Kiski was 13 for 42 from the field; Franklin Regional was 21 for 46. The Cavaliers also turned the ball over 15 times to the Panthers' 9.

Both teams have two section games remaining. Franklin Regional hosts Greensburg Salem on Friday, and Kiski Area welcomes Highlands.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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