Southampton whips FHS on hardwood

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Southampton High jumped out to a commanding 16-1 lead over rival Franklin on Friday night and never looked back in a 56-44 victory.

“I think that Southampton is going to be a good team this year,” said Franklin head coach Danny Dillon.

The contest was the season opener for the Indians, while Franklin fell to 1-1.

“It was a typical first game of the year,” said Southampton head coach Will Melbye. “You know the guys were playing with some jitters, not taking care of the basketball very well, poor shot selection sometimes. But as always it was a great Franklin-Southampton ball game.”

Nick Doyle sank two three-pointers in the opening minutes of the game to help the Indians jump on top. After a timeout by Dillon, the Broncos’ defense tightened.

Franklin outscored Southampton 12-6 in the second quarter to close the visitors’ halftime lead to four points.

Both teams came out of the locker room fired up, knowing what was on the line.

“We came into tonight’s game knowing that Southampton was going to be good,” said Dillon. “It was a great game because you really never know what might happen and with this rivalry, you throw talent out the window, height, how long you have been practicing. It’s just going to be a game.”

The third quarter saw a much more evenly played game as the Indians outscored the Broncos 21-17. The second half also showed why this game is known as a heated rivalry, as each team had more than six fouls.

SHS pulled away in the fourth quarter by outscoring the hosts 13-9.

Southampton was led by Ronald Tyler with 16 points, Nick Doyle with 14 points, and 11 points by Andre Rawls. For the Broncos Justin Grant had 20 points and shot 8-of-11 from the free-throw line.

“We have a good group of seniors,” said Melbye, “and mixing in our underclassmen, it really seems like it will be a good mix for us this year. The guys are really learning how to play together and follow our offensive scheme, and it showed tonight.”

With eight or nine new players on the Broncos’ varsity roster, Dillon knows that it’s really hard for any of the players to know what their role is yet.

“We have only had 3 practices,” he said. “I think with more time on the court, whether it’s in a practice or during a game, we have the potential to be a really solid team. I think the boys still need to get football out of them. I mean the boys just played their last (football) game 10 days ago.”

The Indians travel to Sussex Central on Monday, while the Broncos travel to Northampton on Thursday. Both varsity games start at 7 p.m.