Franklin Regional boys stay motivated throughout up-and-down season

Saturday, February 19, 2022 | 11:01 AM

Franklin Regional boys’ basketball team season didn’t end how it planned.

The Panthers missed out of the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs after finishing in a three-way tie in Section 3-5A with Woodland Hills and McKeesport at 5-7.

“The season was filled with ups and downs,” Franklin Regional first-year coach Jesse Reed said. “Starting the season 1-7 was hard to overcome, but we did hit our stride in the middle of the season. We just didn’t win enough games.”

The highlight of the season was defeating section champion Penn Hills, 59-55. The Panthers finished 7-14 overall.

“It was a good experience overall,” Reed said. “I learned that this team was a resilient group. It could have been easy for them to quit when things weren’t going well, but they gave me 100 percent.

“It’s hard to stay motivated, but we kept some games close and found ways to win.”

Seniors Caden Smith (14.2 points per game) and Nick Neuschwander acted as leaders. Injuries prevented Jordan Suvak and Ethan Sadoski from completing the season.

There spots were filled by juniors Jake Kimmich and Max Leven and sophomores Cam Rowell, Fin Hutchison and Cooper Rankin. Rowell averaged 12.6 points per game and Hutchison 7.9.

Reed will be counting on those five along with sophomore Colin Masten and freshmen Connor Crossey and Drew Devola to be a big part of the future.

Reed said he learned a lot as a first-year coach.

“I still have a lot to learn about coaching,” Reed said, “like finding ways to find ways to motivate them. It’s a process.”

Reed said his plan for the offseason is to get the players into the gymnasium and work on different skills to make them better players.

“I hope they get bigger and stronger,” Reed said. “We’ll play in some leagues, but the biggest thing is working on their individual skills. We’ll work on their shooting and other skills.

“We want them to grow together and develop good chemistry. We need them to take up to another level.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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