Junior guard Ryan Timmons and senior guard Eric Meyer of Franklin County shot lights out for the better part of three quarters Tuesday night against mighty George Rogers Clark, but the host Flyers couldn’t close the deal, falling 64-55 to the 13th-ranked Cardinals.
Timmons repeatedly used his speed to turn oneon-two fast breaks into uncontested layups in the first half, while Meyer was deadon from 3-point land, sparking the Flyers to leads of 31-25 at halftime and 47-40 after three quarters.
But coach Scott Humphrey’s Cardinals made second half adjustments to limit Timmons and Meyer, in particular, and GRC stormed from behind down the stretch.
The visitors took a 52-50 lead on a putback and free throw by Charlie Rogers with 4:47 to go – the Cardinals’ first lead since the opening quarter of the game.
Rogers then scored on a baseline drive for a 54-50 lead. Timmons scored in close with 3:25 to go to cut the GRC edge to 54-52, but Adam Fatkin scored on a putback and a free throw with 2:12 to go, and the Flyers were finally out of answers.
Rogers led GRC with 20 points. Fatkin was right behind with 18 points, and Bopper Stenzel added 14.
The Cardinals improved to 24-5 on the season, while Franklin County dropped to 14-14 going into the regular season finale Friday at Anderson County.
Coach Scott Chalk’s Flyers have had a few players miss games this season, mainly due to minor injuries, and that’s left his team too dependent on Timmons at times.
“In our practices we haven’t been as productive as we need to be as far as getting smoother and executing better,” Chalk said. “And that’s when it shows – late in the game like tonight when you’ve got to run a play to get a good shot.
“We can’t make it Ryan spread and Ryan take it to the hole every time,” Chalk added. “That’s what happened tonight. They (Cardinals) have to adjust defensively, and that’s what they did. They adjusted by walling up with their big guys to try to keep him (Timmons) from getting all the way to the basket, and we didn’t handle it very well.”
Timmons finished with 22 points, and Meyer added 12 to lead FCHS.
Meyer, Garrett Hamilton and Aaron Brown were honored in a moving pre-game senior ceremony.
Hamilton did not play in the game, and junior forward Logan Woodside also missed the game due to injury.
Chalk said Hamilton will return Friday for the Anderson County game, and Woodside should be back either for that game or for next week’s district opener against Frankfort.
Give Chalk’s team credit. His Flyers have faced arguably their toughest schedule in years, maybe ever, and have never stopped battling.
“We’re playing hard, there’s no question about that,” Chalk said. “We’re just not executing as well as we need to. We have some things we need to shore up.”
Defensively, however, Chalk has few complaints.
“We did a good job on defense tonight,” he said. “We held them to around 60 points, which is not bad. It’s good enough to win if you do what you should offensively.”
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK (64) – Charlie Rogers 20, Adam Fatkin 18, Bopper Stenzel 14, Dominic Van Cleve 6, Taylor Howard 4, Malachi Israel 2.
FRANKLIN CO. (55) – Ryan Timmons 22, Eric Meyer 12, Casey Tabor 8, Rylan Rowe 6, Chris Roberts 3, Lorenzo McCaskell 2, Greg Maupin 2.