Broncos upend favored Bulldogs
Published 11:46 am Friday, January 8, 2016
Two weeks after finishing as runners-up to Colonial Heights in the inaugural NAPA Auto Parts – Bluewater Rentals Holiday Classic, the Franklin boys basketball returned to the court in Brunswick.
Starting one freshman and two sophomores, the Broncos were clearly the underdog against the perennial power Bulldogs. Franklin was able to pull the upset, however, thanks to a new defense installed by head coach Robby Cutchins during the holiday break.
“I saw some things on film that I thought we could do defensively that would keep them in front of us and keep their bigs from dominating the game in the paint,” Cutchins said. “This would call for a big change from what our guys are accustomed to simply because we like to trap and turn the pressure up to create transition points. However, we stuck to the gameplan and the boys executed beautifully.”
The Broncos led 29-21 at the half, but stretched the lead to double digits by the end of the third quarter. Cutchins knew that the Bulldogs were capable of closing the gap, though, so he kept the pressure on the visitors throughout the contest.
“The bottom line is [that] they are a good basketball team and have been a great program for years,” he said. “They have a ton of talent and guys that can score very quickly, so we knew it wasn’t over until the clock hit zero.”
Brunswick’s sharp-shooters hit a couple big three-point shots down the stretch to close the gap within three with little more than 40 seconds to go. But Franklin freshman Drelyn Ford knocked down one of two free throws and the Broncos added one more basket to seal the deal, 54-48.
“I’m just so proud of these young men for how hard they have worked and [for] buying into what we are trying to accomplish here,” Cutchins said. “Knowing and understanding night-in and night-out if you believe in each other and believe in the system, regardless of who we are playing, we can be victorious.”
Sophomore guard Deauntae Jefferson led the Broncos with 13 points and five assists. Senior guard Quayshawn Jefferson recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while senior forward Darrien Duck chipped in 12 points, as well.
Franklin travels to Appomattox Regional Governor’s School on Friday, and will return home for the on-court version of the Backyard Brawl on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Tip-off will follow the girls and junior varsity games.