FOUNTAIN CITY – Franklin County played well during the game’s first 10 minutes and then it started to fall apart.

At game’s end, undefeated Northeastern defeated the Wildcats 57-37.

Visiting Franklin County was within two points, 18-16,  with 5:50 to play in the first half when senior Kariee Hodapp hit a field goal.

“We did a better job this game of handling their full-court and half-court pressure,” FC coach Joe Adams said. “That was something we really struggled with against East Central, so we had to make some adjustments to get ready for Northeastern. I was proud of the way the girls were able to make those changes in just a couple of practices.”

By half’s end, the Lady Knights held an eight-point lead, 28-20. The reason for an eight-point deficit at that point was a Northeastern 9-0 run from the 5:50 mark in the second quarter to the 1:13 mark when senior Taylor McCreary hit a free throw to make it 28-17. An old-fashioned three-point play by senior Ashlan Hill ended the half 28-20.

“Against a team as good as Northeastern, you can’t afford to have long scoring droughts like we did in the second quarter, especially for how well they execute on offense,” Adams said.

However, overall, the Wildcats did an admirable job in the game’s first 16 minutes.

“We played good enough to win in the first half, but couldn’t get it to carry over into the second half,” Adams said.
Unfortunately, for FC, it got worse from there.

In the third quarter, the Knights went up by as many as 17, 43-26, with 1:26 remaining in that quarter.

Junior Jenna McFarland and 5-11 junior Emma Wright scored most of the Knights’ points in the third quarter.

“Jenna McFarland is a really good player,” Adams said. “She shoots it well and is physical enough to get anywhere she wants on the floor. She’s a really tough matchup and will be causing headaches for a lot of teams throughout the season.”

The Knights shot an amazing 44 percent from behind the three-point arc, 4-of-9.

“McFarland is so effective with her dribble penetration that our helpside had to slide over to help allowing them to get multiple open looks for threes, and they did a good job of converting,” Adams said.

McFarland led all scorers with 20 points. She was followed by junior Willow Runyon’s 14 points and Wright’s dozen points.

While the Wildcats lost by 20 points, none of the Wildcats stopped hustling or playing hard for the entire 32 minutes.

Hodapp arguably had the best game of her career with a double, double with team highs 12 rebounds and 11 points.

“This was Kairee’s best game so far,” Adams said. “I thought her effort level went up and notch, and (she) looked more aggressive trying to attack the basket instead of settling for jump shots.”

McCreary finished with nine points while senior Ashlan Hill and sophomore Alex Gillman each had six points.

Freshman Macy Crain was second on the team in rebounds with six. Gillman finished with five boards.

FC went to 1-2 on the season while Northeastern improved to 3-0 on the young season and played undefeated Union County Tuesday night, Nov. 19.

Results were unavailable as of press time.

FC entertains UC Friday night, Nov. 22 before the Wildcats make the long journey to 2-1 Switzerland County Saturday night, Nov. 23.