Franklin boys fall to tough Surry

Published 10:51 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

Surry County built a 14-point lead in the third quarter, saw Franklin cut the lead to five points, and then built it back up to down the Broncos 75-65 in a Tri-Rivers District boys’ basketball game Friday night.

Surry came into the game 7-1, having lost its first game on Tuesday night, a three-point loss to Greensville County in overtime. The Cougars, having gone to the Group A Division 1 state championship game last year, are highly regarded in state polls. Franklin came into the contest having played just four games because of the long football season. The lack of team experience showed in the clutch as the Broncos were able to hang with the Cougars but could not get over the hump.

In the first half, the Broncos had a tough time scoring on a tight Surry defense and also surrendered seven 3-pointers as Surry led 38-29 after the first 16 minutes. The Cougars established their offense right away when Montel White and John Newman both hit 3-balls to open the game.

Trailing 45-31 with 5:38 in the third quarter, Franklin head coach Danny Dillon called a timeout to stop a Surry rally and to give his troops a rest. The timeout worked as the Broncos reeled off the next nine points to cut the Surry lead to five points in a quick two-minute strtetch. Daquan Frazier scored six of his team-high 16 point during the run. Frazier was the benefactor of long-court, fastbreak passes that have become Franklin’s trademark this season.

“We had an off shooting night, and a lot of that happened in the first half,” Dillon said. “The second half, we tried to penetrate and that’s what kind of turned things around. I feel like they got out to a great start hitting three or four of those three’s in the first quarter and they got up by 10 and they won by 10, so the other three quarters we played hard.”

Surry head coach Landon Pittman then called a timeout of his own and that worked magic four the Cougars as they went on an 8-2 run to open the game back up, and Franklin never really challenged after that.

“We played hard and cut it down a few times, but at those breaking moments, we’d miss a layup, we’d mishandle a ball,” Dillon said. “If we could have capitalized on a couple of those buckets when we got it close, if we could have finished that and got the momentum our way, but we haven’t played enough games and haven’t been tested enough in those situations. If they are the number one team in the state, I just like where we are.”

Franklin (3-2) also missed 12 free throws throughout the game.

Ashley Lee scored 12 points and Derrick Thompson added 10 points for Franklin. Surry (8-1) was led by John Newman with 20 points, Damien Savadge with 13 points, and Laquel Bailey with 12 points.

Franklin hosts Windsor on Tuesday and Northampton on Wednesday.