ALL OUT: Hanover junior Tim Bass dives for a loose ball (above) after forcing a steal from Franklin’s Trae Washington during Wednesday’s game at Collier Arena. The Panthers’ Desmond Marks goes to the basket (below) ahead of the Grizzlies’ Dion Smith. Bass scored 17 points and Marks had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds but the Panthers lost 74-68. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
ALL OUT: Hanover junior Tim Bass dives for a loose ball (above) after forcing a steal from Franklin’s Trae Washington during Wednesday’s game at Collier Arena. The Panthers’ Desmond Marks goes to the basket (below) ahead of the Grizzlies’ Dion Smith. Bass scored 17 points and Marks had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds but the Panthers lost 74-68. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Franklin closed the game on a 15-6 run to pull away for a 74-68 men's basketball win over Hanover in the Heartland Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday.

The Grizzlies, who trailed by as many as four midway through the second half, erased a 62-59 deficit with 10 straight points to take a 69-62 lead with 3:39 left.

Hanover (3-2, 0-1 HCAC) never recovered. The Panthers cut the lead to three at one point but got no closer as Franklin held on for the win at Collier Arena in Hanover.

"We had trouble converting. We had a couple of shots right at the basket and we didn't convert," Hanover coach Jon Miller said of the critical run. "As a coach you're always trying to figure out what are the things you could have controlled but you didn't and you always shy away from shooting because it's such an up and down deal, but at the end of the day, you have to make some shots, particularly when they're scoring."

If there was one weakness in Hanover's game it was shooting. The Panthers were 26-for-69 (37.7 percent) overall and 4-of-16 (25 percent) from behind the arc. Franklin, on the other hand, hit nearly half of its shots (29-for-61, 47.5 percent) including 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) on 3-pointers.

Many of Hanover's two-point misses came in the paint, a fact not lost on Miller. While the Panthers were able to get the ball to the rim, more times than not, they failed to come away with points.

"We didn't finish very well. (Franklin) has some length in there and I think Dion Smith creates some issues," Miller said of the Grizzlies' 6-foot-4 sophomore forward. "But we need to finish off some plays better. I feel like the makeup of our team and the way we are going right now, we're trying to attack in transition and if we don't have it, going inside. We just kind of sputtered in the second half."

No player typified Hanover's struggles more than junior guard Tim Bass. The 5-foot-5 speedster from Indianapolis led the Panthers with 17 points, but was just 6-of-21 from the floor.

Miller said Bass was probably taking too much upon himself, especially when the game started to get away from the Panthers.

"When we start to struggle, Tim's competitive and sometimes he tries to get stuff for us, maybe overpenetrates a few times," Miller said. "I think that happens when he sees other guys not finish great. We're better when he's not going to try to score 21 times."

The game featured 12 lead changes and the two teams spent most of the first 30 minutes trading baskets. Franklin (4-2, 1-0 HCAC) led by as many as six on several occasions in the first half but still trailed 40-38 at halftime.

Hanover led much of the first part of the second half with its largest lead at 53-49 with 14:18 to play. However, back-to-back jumpers by senior Bailey Howard sparked Franklin's late run and gave the Grizzlies a lead they never relinquished.

Troy Porter scored a game-high 21 points and Smith added 18 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Franklin. Terry Sargent scored 14 points and Howard, who came in averaging 25 points per game, finished with just 13.

"Dion Smith had a great game. He's long and athletic and I thought he was the difference in the game," Miller said. "We had trouble guarding him all night."

Along with Bass, Desmond Marks added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Hanover, Kyle James had 12 and freshman V.J. Billups scored 11 off the bench.

Not surprising considering the two school's relatively close proximity, the game featured four sets of high school teammates squaring off against each other. The most notable pairing was two former South Ripley Raiders, Trey Sparks at Hanover and Cody Federmann at Franklin - both freshmen. While Sparks did not get into the game, Federmann played 11 minutes, scored two points and had two rebounds.

Other high school teammates included Hanover's James and Franklin's Smith, both from Franklin Central - incidentally also the alma mater of Hanover coach Miller - in Indianapolis; Howard and Hanover sophomore Quincy Robinson, both out of Brown County High School; and Marks and Franklin sophomore Trae Washington both from Bloomington South.

Hanover returns to action Saturday at Anderson. The Panthers will try to end a two-game losing streak and pick up their first HCAC win of the season.

"These early December conference games are tough because you're still trying to sort out some things," Miller said. "But we have to get right back up and get back to work on Saturday."

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WEDNESDAY'S MEN'S GAME

at Hanover

FRANKLIN 74, HANOVER 58



FRANKLIN (4-2, 1-0 HCAC) - (f)Porter 21, (f)Smith 18, (g)Sargent 14, (g)Howard 13, (g)Washington 4, Barton 2, Mann 2, Prather 0, McCory 0, Federmann 0, Selburg 0.



HANOVER (3-2, 0-1 HCAC) - (g)Bass 17, (c)Marks 13, (g)James 12, Billups 11, (f)Van Kleunen 8, Rieger 3, Steinhart 2, Muchmore 2, (g)Wehner 0, Black 0, Bingham 0.



Halftime - Hanover 40-38. 3-Point Goals - Franklin 6 (Porter 5, Howard 1), Hanover 4 (Bass 2, James 2). Rebounds - Franklin 40 (Smith 10), Hanover 45 (Marks 10). Assists - Franklin 9 (Washington 2, Sargent 2, Smith 2), Hanover 5 (Bass 2). Turnovers - Franklin 12, Hanover 10. Total Fouls - Franklin 19, Hanover 20. Free Throws - Franklin 10-21, Hanover 12-18. Fouled Out - Hanover: Marks. Next Game - Hanover visits Anderson Saturday.