Lady Broncos claim regional crown

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2008

DENDRON-The Franklin High School girls’ basketball outscored Appomattox Regional Governor’s School 27-7 in the fourth quarter and went on to win 74-50 in the championship game of the Group A, Region A, Division 1 playoffs Saturday night at Surry County High School.

The Lady Broncos, who beat ARGS for the fourth time this season, will play either Buffalo Gap or Luray from Region B in the quarterfinals of the Group A state playoffs on Saturday at Southampton High School. A time for the game has not been determined. By finishing second in the region, the Lady Dragons have also secured a spot in the quarterfinals.

It was the fourth time Franklin has beaten Tri-District rival ARGS this season.

Leading 18-17 at the end of the first quarter, Franklin went into its full-court press, which has eliminated most teams this season. ARGS, however, did a good job of breaking the press until the fourth quarter. Franklin led 47-43 after three periods.

By turning the ball over and fouling, ARGS put Franklin at the free-throw line, and the Lady Broncos broke the game open in a 90-second span in the final period. Roslyn Presley, who was named the Region A Player of the Year, sank two free throws to pull ARGS within 49-45 with 6:54 to play. Franklin (22-1) then scored the next five points, all at the foul line. Eboney Joyner hit one of two, Timia Hobbs sank two and Kierra Lee also made two free throws to put the Lady Broncos up 54-45 with 5:27 to play.

With 4:43 left in the contest, Franklin pulled together a 10-point run to put the game away. With 3:59 to play, Vonnisha Robinson hit a turnaround jumper. Ten seconds later, Hobbs scored on a layup off a steal, then followed with a jumper to put Franklin up 66-49 with 3:11 to play.

The contest was physical, and the officials clamped down on fouls in the fourth quarter, which also helped Franklin’s comeback.

“They (ARGS) ran out of gas and got into foul trouble,” said Franklin head coach Mona Sumblin, who was named the Region A Coach of the Year. “Early on they weren’t calling those fouls. Most of them had three or four fouls.”

Franklin struggled offensively earlier in the game, misfiring on inside shots and missing nine free throws in the second half, mostly in the third quarter.

“I’m glad we clicked at the right time. I didn’t expect it to be that close, honestly, but this was the fourth game …,” Sumblin said.

Hobbs led the Franklin attack with 19 points, Joyner scored 17 and Kierra Lee added 12. For ARGS, Presley finished with 22 points.