It wasn’t a tale of two halves for Franklin and Martinsville in the John R. Wooden Gymnasium on Friday night.
Their key Mid-State Conference boys basketball matchup was instead a tale of one quarter and then the other three periods.
And for Grizzly Cubs second-year coach Jerry Bomholt, the host Artesians’ 59-43 victory was more of a horror story. At least for the last three-fourths of the contest.
“I was extremely disappointed — not with the score, but with how we played,” Bomholt said. “We had a chance to dig in the second quarter, but we missed a couple of shots, and then I see the heads go down.
“We can’t play that way and be effective.”
Franklin had a chance to make a bigger logjam at the top of the Mid-State standings, but Friday’s verdict dropped the Cubs to 3-2 in the league and 9-3 overall, ending a three-game winning streak.
Martinsville, meanwhile, bouncing back from a 20-point thumping at Bloomington South last weekend, improved to 4-0 in the Mid-State and 9-4 overall.
“We lost our opportunity to stay in the conference race,” Bomholt said. “Now we have to look to other things.”
The Artesians also avenged their 51-46 loss to Franklin in last season’s annual meeting of ages-old neighboring foes.
The Cubs worked the basketball well in the opening eight minutes and outscored Martinsville 11-5 with the hosts hitting just one of nine shots.
After that, the Artesians put it all together while the visitors fell apart.
Senior guard Troy Spears swished a pair of 3-point baskets to begin the second quarter that saw Martinsville outscore Franklin 17-5.
Spears made four 3-pointers in all and led all scorers with 19 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Right behind was sophomore center Keegan Northern, who tallied 18 and had five rebounds. Senior forward Aaron Tincher added 11 points and nine boards.
After hitting just one basket in the opening period, the Artesians finished the night, making 20 of 41 field-goal attempts (48.8 percent). Franklin hit just 9 of 26 shots after the first quarter and was 13 of 35 for the ballgame (37.1).
Martinsville was especially sharp in the third period, hitting 8 of 11 shots at the basket and scoring 19 points to take a 41-27 lead into the final stanza.
The Cubs were paced by junior guard Dylan Phair, who was the lone Franklin player to score double-digit points with 11. Senior forward Nick King contributed nine points.
Franklin returns to action tonight against visting Southport.