Bronco boys basketball gets third straight win

Published 9:57 am Friday, January 10, 2014

SUSSEX—The Franklin Broncos Boy’s Basketball gets the victory over Sussex Tigers on their way to their third straight conference win. The Broncos traveled to Sussex, and after being down most of the game, they won in double overtime, 68 to 60.

“That’s three big conference wins in a row that are going to pay off come playoff time with our playoff seed,” Head Coach Danny Dillon said. “These boys are not as good as they are going to get, but they are well on their way.”

The Broncos were clicking early and jumped out to a 10 to 4 lead with 4 to go in the first quarter. The Tigers quickly gathered themselves and went on an 11 to 1 run to lead at the end of the first quarter 15 to 11. Both teams battled as they threw different defenses at each other. Sussex point guard, Isaiah Parham, handled Franklin’s pressure and guided Sussex to a 25 to 20 halftime lead.

Sussex continued to take advantage of home court as they kept Franklin at arm’s length for most of the third quarter; however, the Broncos turned up the pressure with two minutes to go and tied the game heading into the fourth quarter. Franklin’s point guard Marcus Stephens handled their pressure early in the fourth and led his team to a 44 to 38 lead with three minutes to go. The Tigers of Sussex would not go away and came storming back and took the lead 50 to 48 with 20 seconds left. The Broncos were patient in running a play as time ticked away. With four seconds left Stephens was fouled on the shot. He knocked down both free throws and sent the game into overtime.

Just like the game itself, the overtime was no different with both teams trading buckets. Sussex got a slight lead, but Franklin freshman Fred Lassiter hit a three-pointer to take the lead back. Down the stretch, Sussex’s Kevin led the Tigers to a one-point lead with 11 seconds left and was at the line shooting two free throws. Coach Danny Dillon called a timeout after the first free throw was made. Afterward, Kevin Diggs from Sussex missed the second free throw and Terry Warren from Franklin secured the rebound. Warren made the outlet pass to Fred Lassiter, who received a couple solid screens and drove to the basket to score to force a second overtime.

Neither team had much left in the tank, but it was clear that Franklin had more than Sussex. Franklin outscored Sussex 12 to 4 in the second overtime to seal the victory.

“Sussex is one of the hardest places to play, but our boys fought hard to put themselves in a position to win,” said Dillon. “We are continuing to get more in shape, put plays in, work on defense, etc., but we still have facets of the game that we need to work on. With that said, sometimes you cannot deny the will to win and the boys had that tonight.”

Franklin was led by Fred Lassiter with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Hitting some big free throws in the second overtime was Marcus Stephens, who poured in 16 points along with 5 assists. Also playing big was Corey Porter, who had 4 steals along with a double double 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Leaders from Sussex were Traviance Ricks with 20 points and 14 rebounds and Kevin Diggs, who went 6 for 7 form the line, adding 18 points and 4 assists.

“We won the game ‘cause we had a little more energy down the stretch,” Dillon said. “Much props to my assistant coach, Robby Cutchins, who helps with substitutions and did well to keep our boys as fresh as possible.”