Broncos slay Dragons, 73-46

Published 9:03 am Friday, January 9, 2009

FRANKLIN—Relentless defense will win you basketball games as Appomattox Regional Governor’s School found out Tuesday night. Franklin High School’s defense was in the Dragons’ face all night en route to a 73-46 blowout in the Broncos’ Tri-Rivers District opener Tuesday night.

Franklin (3-1) played a slow game in the first quarter and led just 15-13 at the end of the period. Head coach Danny Dillon changed Franklin’s defense from a 2-3 zone to man-to-man, and suddenly the defense helped create offense with steals and easy buckets.

“We came out in the 2-3 just to see what we had. I think if we would have stayed in that and let them work it around, we would have been in trouble,” Dillon said. “We did the man-to-man and the press and it just kind of opened things up.”

The Broncos opened up a 38-25 halftime lead, but it was a blitzkrieg fast break and hot hand by Donzell Shearin that broke the game open in the third quarter.

Shearin poured in 13 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter. Shearin was the benefactor of several fast breaks created by steals, but also knocked down three 3-pointers in the period. The Broncos opened the third quarter with a 19-2 run down to the 2:20 mark of the period to take a 300point lead. Dillon said that Shearin was playing on a sore ankle after spraining it in the last 15 minutes of practice on Monday.

Dillon told the Broncos at the half that they needed to change the tempo of the game.

“We knew what we were capable of after the first quarter. This is a good squad, but if we turn up the tempo, they shouldn’t be able to run with us,” he said. “I told them at halftime we’ve just got to get the ball out, and they did it.”

The Broncos also had an opportunity to play the bench for a good part of the fourth quarter.

Cory Jones led ARGS (3-6) with 17 points.

Franklin hosts Surry County Friday night, which will prove to be an early-season big game for the Broncos. Surry is undefeated and Dillon said several polls have the Cougars ranked number one in the state.

“We’re going to attempt to hang with them. I think we have a team that can be in every game we play,” Dillon said.