Broncos will look to run to offset a lack of height

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

FRANKLIN—Last year’s Franklin High School boys basketball squad reached the first round of the state playoffs. This year’s Franklin team has just four returning players from last year’s senior-laden squad and will be a rebuilding year.

The Broncos opened last season at 1-6, then turned it around to finish 15-8. Franklin won the Tri-Rivers District outright for the first time in six years and won the regional for the first time in 13 years.

This year, however, Danny Dillon, in his fourth year as head coach, will not have the luxury of a deep bench. TRD coaches have picked Franklin to finish fourth in the district behind Surry County, newcomer Chesterfield, and Sussex Central.

“The district has us in fourth place, so to win that would be solid,” Dillon said. “Chesterfield is new coming into the district and they are a dominant team. Surry is returning all but one or two players.”

Franklin has three key returning players from last year’s team — senior point guard Josh Willis, junior shooting guard Donzell Shearin, and junior small forward Derrick Thompson. Senior James Jervey was also on last year’s team.

Dillon said because of a lack of height, Franklin will “try to push the ball a little more by using a fast break offense with continuous motion.”

On defense, Franklin will feature a full and half court press. “Toward the end of last year, the reason we won the region was because of our press,” Dillon noted.

Franklin plays at Brunswick tonight

and plays its first home game against Nandua at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

The always anticipated matchup with Southampton will

take place in Franklin on Dec. 14, and in Courtland on Dec. 28. The Broncos will open the Tri-Rivers District schedule with a home game against Chesterfield on Jan. 4.