In the annual double-varsity night with county rival Franklin County Friday night (Jan. 3), the Oldenburg Academy cagers came back from Brookville with a pair of losses.

The opener saw the host Wildcats play a dominant second half to erase a 7-point halftime deficit and defeat the Twister boys 63-51. In a tight battle in the nightcap, FC knocked off the Lady Twisters 34-33.

OA led by nine points as late as midway through the third in the boys contest, after Jake Johnson’s runout. Consecutive threes by sharpshooting Chad Cox and freshman Brant Ertel quickly made it 31-28.

After two Johnson charities, Aden Gerrian banked in a three and Cox popped one from the foul line for a 33-33 tie. An Ertel trey from the corner and a baseline teardrop by Cox had FC nursing a 38-34 lead heading into the fourth.

The two sides compiled 42 points in the final eight minutes. A 3-point play by Cox made it 43-34, before Nick Folop scored 9 of the next 11 points to put OA within one possession. But the Wildcats answered with a 7-0 run and Dempsy Bohman’s bucket later got OA within six; the guests could not get closer.

The Twisters controlled most of the first half, as a 9-9 deadlock was the final tie of the half. Johnson hit a putback to close the first frame, Bohman scored the next five points and Zach Wegman connected to make it 18-9. Second-chance points from Folop and Wegman aided a 22-15 halftime lead.

Wil Freeland scored 5 of OA’s next 7 for a 10-point lead, prior to a 3-point play from Ertel.

The Twisters (6-4) got a team-high 16 points from Folop. Bridger Bolos did a defensive number on Johnson; the senior was a dozen below his average, netting 13 points and just two field goals, though adding several assists. Bohman (9), Wegman (8) and Freeland (5) rounded out OA scoring.

Cox (28) and Ertel (20) combined for 48 of FC’s 63. Bolos added 8 markers.

The Lady Wildcats and Twisters finally came alive in a fourth quarter that featured about half of the night’s total scoring.

After trailing 24-15 at the end of three quarters, Oldenburg poured in 18 points and nearly pulled off the road win. Sophomore Katie Johnson’s two free throws in the final minute gave OA its first lead (33-32) since the start of the second frame. FC responded, though, with a putback by Ashlan Hill and the Twisters would not get a good look in the closing seconds.

The Wildcats built a 9-point lead at 30-21 on a Jenna Bruns jumper, but Johnson made OA’s first 3-pointer to cut the deficit to six. Senior Harlee Masavage answered a Kairee Hodapp bucket with another three and OA called timeout, down 32-27. The Twisters made 6 of 8 from the foul line to take the short-lived lead.

Much of the first three stanzas was an exercise in offensive futility by both teams.

In the opening five minutes, OA held a 4-2 lead on four points by Ava Allen. By the second quarter, it was the Twisters by one at 6-5. Kloe Bolos put FC up by one out of the huddle. At 1:40, a Johnson drive tied the game at 9, but Hodapp scored the last four for a 13-10 halftime score.

A long scoreless stretch started the second half, broken up a Hill basket. The FC lead reached 10 after a Bruns triple. OA scored five straight, but Hodapp again ended the period with four in a row.

Johnson led all scorers with 16 points and Allen contributed 6. Eight players entered the scorebook for the hosts, paced by Hodapp’s 10 and Bruns’ 7.

OA’s girls (2-13) scored a season-low point total in taking a 44-15 loss at Waldron Thursday night.

OA will host a girl-boy home doubleheader Friday night against Madison Shawe Memorial. Tip is 6 p.m. for the ladies.

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