Broncos claim Tri-Rivers championship

Published 12:01 am Sunday, February 22, 2009

Donzell Shearin poured in 26 points to lead Franklin to a 62-60 win over Chesterfield Community in the championship game of the Tri-Rivers District tournament Saturday night at Surry County High School.

Franklin avenged two regular season losses to the Eagles. The Broncos were the third seed in the tournament, and Chesterfield was the top seed.

In a tightly contested game throughout, the Broncos were able to pull ahead midway through the fourth quarter.

A jumper by Ashley Lee tied the game at 51-51 at the 4:01 mark of the fourth quarter. Shearin then picked up a steal and went in for the layup. On the other end Chesterfield’s Clarence Hextall was called for an offensive foul, which led to another drive by Shearin to put Franklin up 55-51 with 3:31 to play.

Daquan Frazier hit one of two free throws to put the Broncos up by 5. Chesterfield’s David Copeland, who finished the game with 27 points, knocked down a jumper at the 2:13 mark to cut the Franklin lead to 3.

On the other end, Shearin sunk one of two free throws to knock the Broncos lead back up to 57-53 with 1:43 to play. At 1:29, the Eagles’ Richard Smith pulled up for a jumper to cut the Franklin lead to 57-55.

Again, Shearin took charge. He drove to the hoop and was fouled. Shearin made both free throws at 1:09 to put the lead back up to 59-55.

Chesterfield’s Juhahn Robinson missed a drive and Franklin’s Jerrel Britt was fouled. Britt missed both free throws.

But Britt made a huge defensive play on the other end and came up with a steal. Shearin was fouled again and converted both free throws to Franklin up 61-55 with 18 seconds to play.

The Eagles weren’t done. Copeland hit another wide open 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to cut the Franklin lead to 61-58.

Britt was fouled on the other end and made one of two free throws to put the Broncos up 62-58 with 10 seconds to play. Chesterfield hit a bucket at the buzzer to end the game at 62-60.

Both teams played well offensively in the third quarter. Chesterfield hit its outside shots, while Franklin picked up the tempo of the game. Despite seven lead changes in the quarter, Chesterfield was able to end the period with a 47-43 advantage.

Ashley Lee also scored 13 points for Franklin.

The Broncos will host a Group A Region A Division I playoff game at 7 p.m. Wednesday against West Point.