Franklin falls in regional

Published 7:55 am Friday, February 26, 2010

DENDRON—It was a rerun of Saturday night. Same teams, same building. The result was also the same. Surry County overcame a sluggish first quarter and a furious Franklin comeback to drop the Broncos 68-67 in the semifinal round of the Group A, Region A, Division 1 playoffs.

Surry will play in the regional championship game at 6 p.m. on Saturday at home.

Surry beat the Lady Broncos four out of five meetings this year.

After trailing by just five points at the half, Franklin lost control of the game in the third quarter and trailed 54-42 with 1:12 to play in the third period.

But Kiara Lee took the Lady Broncos on her shoulders in the fourth quarter. Driving to the hoop, Lee scored the first six points of the fourth quarter including an inside bucket and four free throws to cut the Surry lead to 54-49 with 6:31 to play.

The teams battled back and forth and Franklin closed the gap to 58-55 on two layups by Keshara Bradley. However, the Broncos missed five key free throws down the stretch, which hurt its chances.

With 2:28 to play, Lee banked a bucket to put Franklin within 62-61. Surry’s Brittney Johnson followed with a layup to put the Lady Cougars back up 64-61.

With 1:27 to play, RaeChaun Edwards was fouled by Franklin’s Mercedes Williams. Edwards sunk one of two free throws to give Surry a 65-61 lead. With 45 seconds to play Lee knocked down a 3-pointer to again cut the lead down to one point.

Three Surry free throws by Edwards and Whitney Johnson put the Lady Cougars up 68-64 with just 12.5 second to play.

But the drama wasn’t over. Pashawn Hunt hit a desperation 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds to play. Surry, though was able to break the press and run out the clock for the win.

For how poorly Franklin played at the beginning of the game, the Lady Broncos went on an outside shooting frenzy to end the first quarter and erased an eight-point deficit. With 3-pointers by Keshara Bradley, Tiara Rogers, and Pashawn Hunt, Franklin took a 19-16 lead with 25 seconds left in the first quarter.

Surry outscored Franklin 22-15 in the second quarter to regain the lead at 39-34 at the half. The Lady Cougars went on a 7-1 run against Franklin’s second string to finish the half. Surry’s RaeChaun Edwards scored nine of her 11 first half points in the second quarter.

Mona Sumblin, Franklin head coach, said she was proud of her team for mounting a comeback.

“The girls played hard to come back from 14 points down and tie it up. To be down and come back and could have won, that speaks a lot,” she said. “They played hard and I want to give them praise. They just came up short.”

For Franklin (14-7), Lee led with 24 points, Bradley scored 17 and Hunt added 10 points. For Surry, Whitney Johnson led with 19 points.