Luckily, for Hoosiers, this has been an unseasonably mild winter. And it was that way Friday night, Jan. 3 outside the Franklin County High School gymnasium.

But inside, during the first varsity game, the boys game against Oldenburg, first the Wildcats had ice on their fingers and in the second half, the visitors' shooting went into the deep freeze.

It seemed advantageous the poor shooting happened in the second half for the visitors as the hosts won going away, 63-51.

For the game, FC had good shooting statistics: 69 percent from two-point range and 35 percent on three pointers.

However, the first half was not that way. The Twisters came out in a 3-2 zone with 6-5 senior Jacob Johnson in the middle of the front row with his large wingspan causing trouble for the Wildcat ball handlers and shooters.

The Twisters held an 11-point lead in the second quarter, 22-11, with just 1:40 left in the first half, and seemed on the verge of breaking the game open. However, a sophomore Chad Cox trey at the 1:10 mark and followed by fellow sophomore JD Stokes' put back of his own shot with 55 seconds remaining cut into the Twister advantage, 22-16, at halftime.

Oldenburg's last field goal in the third quarter occurred with 4:05 left in the quarter. Johnson hit a field goal to give the Twisters a 31-22 lead. The next time the Twisters hit a field goal was with 6:15 left in the game. Sophomore Nick Folop nailed a trey to make the score 43-37, a six-point Wildcat advantage.

Offensively, in the second half, the Wildcats began attacking the basket. Specifically, Cox and freshman Brant Ertel made successful drives to the basket. Usually, they converted field goals or went to the free-throw line for a couple of chances.

This also opened up the perimeter for the Wildcat shooters.

During the second half, Cox made 20 of his game-high 28 points. And Ertel made 17 of his 20 points in the same time span.

Those two players were 9-of-11 (82 percent) and 10-of-12 (83 percent), respectively, from the free-throw line. As a team, the Wildcats were 23-of-29 on charity tosses. It is an area where the Wildcats have struggled up until Friday night. Prior to Friday night's contest, the Wildcats were 80-of-135 from the line (59 percent).

It was just a six-point game, 53-47, with 2:36 left to play, but the Wildcats continued to make their free throws going down the stretch. In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were 17-of-19 (89 percent) shooting free throws.

“Free throw shooting can be contagious both making and missing,” FC coach Eric Ebrens said. “We got hot shooting, and they came out of the 3-2 in the second half, plus they had foul trouble.”

Sophomore Bridger Bolos finished the game with eight points. Ertel and senior Drew Dixon led the team in rebounds with seven each. Cox finished the game with five boards.

Folop led the Twisters with 16 points while Johnson had 13 points.

Oldenburg went to 6-4 on the season. The Twisters will play Shaw Memorial Friday, Jan. 10 at Oldenburg. FC is now 4-6 on the season. The Wildcats will travel to Union County Friday night, Jan. 10. UC is coached by Franklin County native Alex McCool who is in his first season at the helm. The Patriots have a 3-6 record and are in a rebuilding season.