Broncos’ season ends with Chesterfield loss

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2008

DENDRON-The fourth matchup was not the charm for the Franklin High School boys’ basketball team Friday night.

A taller, quicker Chesterfield Community squad defeated Franklin 77-65 to earn a berth in Saturday’s Group A, Region A, Division I championship game.

The loss ended Franklin's season with an 11-12 record.

The game was played at Surry High School, and it was the fourth time Chesterfield defeated Franklin this year. The Eagles won twice in the regular season, once in the Tri-Rivers District Tournament and again Friday night.

Chesterfield’s Saturday opponent was to be either Colonial Beach or Surry County in the

regional finals at Surry.

Despite being injured in a car crash Wednesday, Chesterfield players David Copeland and Sherrod Allen were cleared to play in the game and did considerable damage to the Broncos’ chances. Copeland scored a team-high 19 points.

Chesterfield started quickly, jumping out to a 7-0 lead, but the Broncos were able to beat the full-court press and penetrate to the hoop to get easy layups or get fouls, which led to free throws. Donzell Shearin, particularly, was able to get inside for easy shots or to draw fouls.

Chesterfield led by 17-14 at the end of the first quarter.

To start the second quarter, Chesterfield switched from the press to a 2-3 zone, which reduced Franklin’s ability to penetrate. That led to poor shot selection by the Broncos.

Chesterfield took advantage of a blistering fast break and went on a 12-1 run to end the half and broke the game open with a 33-20 lead at the half.

Franklin picked up the pace to start the third quarter and put together an 11-2 run to get back in the game. Again, Franklin was able to get the ball inside.

Denzel Smith's 3-pointer that banked its way through the hoop with 4:29 left in the quarter electrified the huge contingent of Franklin fans who made the trip, and cut the lead to 36-29.

Shearin followed with yet another layup and Derrick Thompson added a tip-in to pull the Broncos to within three, but the Eagles again went on a tear to finish the quarter with a 14-2 spurt to deflate the rally. The nail in the coffin was a 3-pointer from near halfcourt by Copeland that gave

Chesterfield a 50-35 lead.

Franklin senior Josh Willis scored his 1,000th point of his career at 2:27 of the first period on a 3-pointer that gave his team a 14-13 lead.

Willis finished with 22 points, 14 in the fourth quarter. Shearin added 17 points and Ashley Lee scored 13.

&uot;We played with heart,&uot; said Franklin coach Danny Dillon. &uot;We just came up short.

&uot;It’s hard to win when you play a team like Chesterfield and they hit everything they throw up. I’m proud of my guys. They finished strong and played with sportsmanship.&uot;