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Boys Basketball

Marion-Franklin falters in final quarter of regional semi

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The Marion-Franklin High School boys basketball team’s first trip to the regional tournament in two decades ended March 14 with a 65-40 loss to Kettering Alter in a Division II semifinal at Kettering Fairmont.

Alter improved to 21-5 and will play for a regional title at 3 p.m. March 16 at Fairmont. The Knights led 35-30 after three quarters before outscoring Marion-Franklin 30-10 in the fourth period.

“Our guys came out and worked hard but we couldn’t get shots,” Marion-Franklin coach Scott Williams said. “I believe we were only about three of nine in free throws in the first half.”

Senior guard Jaaron Simmons finished with a game-high 28 points for Alter.

Alter is coached by Joe Petrocelli, who earlier this winter announced he was retiring after leading the program to more than 800 wins since taking over as coach in 1964. During Petrocelli’s tenure, Alter has won three state titles, eight regional championships and 24 district titles.

Senior forward Marquiez Lawrence had 13 points and junior guard John Montgomery scored 11 for Marion-Franklin, who finished 14-13.

Although Marion-Franklin was seeded 11th for the Division II district tournament, the Red Devils won their first district championship since 1993 on March 9.

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