Franklin clinches top spot

Published 8:50 am Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DENDRON—The Franklin High School girls’ basketball team took advantage late in the third quarter when Appomattox Regional Governor’s School’s top player was injured, and came away with a 73-57 win in a Tri-Rivers District regular season championship game.

Both Franklin and ARGS won their final regular season games on Friday, forcing a tie-breaker game for first place. The teams split during the regular season and both teams finished the regular season with one district loss.

With the win, Franklin (16-3) takes first place and will face Sussex Central in the opening round of the Tri-Rivers District Tournament Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Surry County High School. The winner of that game will advance to the district championship at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Surry.

Early on, the game had all the makings of a blowout in favor of the Lady Dragons. ARGS used a calm, methodical offense, which ranged form inside shots to 3-pointers, to build a 13-4 lead with 2:24 to play in the first quarter. Franklin’s offense played at breakneck speed, which gave it opportunities at the foul line.

The Lady Broncos played better defensively in the second half, but shot poorly form the field and at the foul line, missing five free throws in the period, and a plethora of inside shots and layups. Even with the poor shooting, Franklin was able to catch up, and took a 25-23 lead on a short jumper by Kiara Lee with 1:34 left in the half.

ARGS fought back, though, on buckets by Roslyn Presley and Kara Yankovich, to regain the lead at 27-25 with 51 seconds to play in the half. A free throw by Pashawn Hunt cut the lead to 27-26 at the half.

The lead changed six times in the third quarter until Presley, who scored 24 points on the evening, went down with an ankle injury with 3:06 left in the quarter. The Lady Dragons fell completely apart, giving up four straight turnovers at one point. Franklin finished the third quarter on a 14-3 run and took a 50-40 lead into the fourth quarter.

“She is their main scorer and we knew she was going to get hers,” said Mona Sumblin, Franklin head coach, about Presley. “We wanted to take away Gore to a degree. At the beginning, we weren’t playing the way we should initially. Before Presley went down, they were clogging up the middle.”

Presley returned at the beginning of the fourth period, but was ineffective. The Lady Broncos opened the quarter with eight straight points and ballooned the lead to 60-40 at the 5:39 mark. Iesha Boone was constantly open on the inside during the third and fourth quarter and her teammates found her. Boone finished the game with 13 points.

Leading the Franklin attack was Timia Hobbs with 20 points, Kiara Lee with 17 points and Pashawn Hunt with 11 points.

Tamara Gore added 17 points to the ARGS offense.

Franklin will have a home regional playoff game on Tuesday, Feb. 24.