Broncos basketball chips away for two victories

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On Monday and Friday, the Franklin High School Broncos boys basketball team made an art form out of the come-from-behind victory in picking up two wins.

On Monday night, the Northampton High School Yellowjackets went perfect on their first seven shots in building toward a 22-14 lead early in the game. The Broncos chipped away and the deficit had decreased from eight to two by halftime, with a score of 35-33 Yellowjackets.

The second half was a different story, however. After making a few defensive adjustments, Franklin outscored Northampton 32-21 in that half. Darrien Duck led the way during the charge, with 19 of his 22 points coming in the second and third quarters.

“We trailed by double digits twice in the first half, but these young men continued to fight,” said head coach Robby Cutchins. “It was a rewarding game, if you will. I felt that we battled adversity very well in the first half, especially with how good they came out shooting.”

Friday was much of the same, with the Broncos falling behind 8-2 early against Appomattox Regional Governor’s School. By the half, however, Franklin had battled back to a 21-17 lead.

The Broncos tried to put the Dragons away, pushing the lead to eight points on two different occasions. ARGS, however, playing in their homecoming game, were not quick to give up the fight.

With a minute to go in the game, offensive rebounds were the difference for Franklin. The Broncos were able to hustle to the ball to help them retain possessions as the Dragons started to make their shots and get the game within two points.

With 8 seconds left, Duck was on the free throw line with the game in his hand. He hit both of them to make it a two-possession game. ARGS was able to make a shot as time expired, but the Broncos picked up the 46-44 win.

“It was simply a great battle by both teams all night long,” Cutchins said. “Both squads got after it from the opening tip. I was really impressed with ARGS’ intensity. That’s something that we like to hang our hat on, so seeing our guys match that level was really rewarding, especially on their homecoming.”

On Jan. 7, however, Franklin was put away by 2A Brunswick in a TriRivers District match 75-45.

“Brunswick is a top-notch program at the Division 2 level,” Cutchins said. “They made a run of seven consecutive years from 2007-2013 playing for the state championship at the Division 2 level, winning 3 consecutive state championships from 2011-2013.

We knew what kind of battle we were in for and I was proud with the way our young men fought and battled.”

Corey Porter led the Broncos in scoring against the Brunswick Bulldogs with 12 points. He also contributed six steals. Duck and freshman Markeen Tyler had nine points each.

On Friday, Porter led Franklin again, this time with a double-double. The senior guard had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Quayshawn Jefferson had 12 points. On the boards, Domique Gainey led the way with 15 rebounds.

In addition to Duck’s 22 points, Quinten Lowe and Porter also scored double digits, at 14 and 12 points, respectively. Duck also nabbed eight steals. Gainey again led the way on the glass, picking up 12 rebounds.

Cutchins said he was happy with the way Franklin was playing, heading into Wednesday’s important game.

“It’s good to get a little more confidence as round two of the backyard rivalry is Wednesday night,” he said of the trip the Broncos will make down Route 58 to face Southampton High School. “I’m very proud of these young men and how we are progressing.”

Tipoff for the second Broncos-Indians match will be at 7 p.m. in Courtland.