Southampton boys win thriller over Franklin

Published 11:38 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Southampton High School triumphed over archrival Franklin 88-81 in triple overtime here Tuesday.

The Indians (3-5) avenged a 55-50 loss to the Broncos on Dec. 19 in Franklin.

Ronald Tyler sank three-pointers at the end of regulation and the first overtime to keep alive the Indians, who pulled away in the third overtime period.

“We played the way we wanted to play – to try and run them and wear them out,” said first-year Southampton Coach Will Melbye. “We finally executed some of the things we had worked on prior to tonight.”

Franklin (2-1) led 24-21 at halftime thanks to a half-court buzzer-beater by Denzell Smith, and the Broncos stayed in control through the third quarter, leading 37-32.

Fans were on their feet at the end of the fourth quarter as the Broncos went up 50-47 on a Donzell Shearin free throw with 15.3 seconds left. Not to be outdone, the Indians’ Tyler canned a clutch three-pointer with less than 5 seconds remaining to force the game into overtime.

The first overtime was delayed as Southampton sheriff’s deputies worked to keep fans off the court.

Franklin went up 63-60 with 27 seconds left, but the Indians would not be denied, as Tyler’s three-pointer with less than 10 seconds on the clock forced the game into a second overtime.

The second overtime again saw the Indians come from behind. This time it was Southampton’s LeMar Evans scoring a basket with 20 seconds to knot the score at 74-74.

Shearin drove the length of the court and tossed up a shot that became lodged between the goal and the backboard, forcing a jump ball with 2.2 seconds left.

It was in the third overtime that the Indians separated themselves by outscoring the Broncos 14-7. Personal fouls and fatigue took their toll on Franklin as Shearin and Daquan Frazier fouled out in the third overtime.

The Indians’ final five points were scored at the line as SHS went 5-of-7 at the charity stripe down the stretch.

Southampton did things Tuesday that it wanted to do in the earlier matchup with Franklin, Melbye said.

“Our kids showed just how much fight they had and how well we have been conditioning,” he said.

Tyler led the victors with 23 points, and LeMar Evans added 20, including 10-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Shearin, who “played his heart out” and “showed how much of an athlete he truly is,” according to Melbye, led the Broncos with 23 points. Frazier added 21.

“Franklin has a very seasoned team with seven seniors,” Melbye said. “They know how to play together. That’s the great part. The kids from Franklin know how to win. Most of them are coming off of a state (football) championship win. My kids don’t know how to win yet. They have been in a losing rut, and we need to change that. We are building. It’s not for this year, it’s not for next year or the year after that; it’s to build a continual program that can continue on its own and breed success.”

Southampton (3-5) will play Warhill at 7 p.m. Saturday in Williamsburg. Franklin will host Appomattox Regional Governor’s School at 6 p.m. Tuesday.