Broncos fall to Red Devils in state quarterfinals

Published 12:33 am Saturday, March 4, 2023

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A 2022-23 season of outstanding success for Franklin High School’s varsity boys basketball team came to a conclusion a couple games earlier than the Broncos were aiming for.

A Franklin City Public Schools news release noted that on the neutral territory of New Kent High School on Friday, March 3, Franklin was dealt a strong defeat by undefeated Lancaster High School in the Virginia High School League Class 1 State Tournament quarterfinals.

The Red Devils quickly took the lead in the first quarter and were at 24 to the Broncos’ eight points by the close of the period.

That lead continued to increase in the second quarter, 45-19, and with 1:45 left in the third, Franklin trailed 53-29.

In spite of the Broncos’ rallying in the fourth, the Red Devils were too far ahead, and they won 70-53. 

Understandably, the young men of Franklin were visibly upset by this defeat, but they conceded to the stronger team of the night and congratulated Lancaster (27-0).

Frank A. Davis, reporting for The Tidewater News, noted that Lancaster hit 11 three-pointers and forced many turnovers.

In scoring for the Broncos, senior wing Jordan Myrick and junior center Chaevon Torrance finished with 15 points apiece. The Red Devils had two players in double figures. Tyson Henderson had 25 points, and Troy Henderson had 21.

Afterward, FHS Head Coach Robby Cutchins reflected on the Broncos’ loss.

“It hurts!” he said. “I would be lying if I told you anything different. You can see it on everyone’s faces in the program. These young men showed a ton of resiliency this season in many different forms. They believed in themselves just as I believed in them and bought in early in the year to accomplish some of the amazing things that we did throughout the season.”

He noted that it will take a while for him, his staff and his players to clear their heads, but he shared his hopes of what will happen when that occurs.

“Then hopefully at that point we can all look back at some of the remarkable achievements that this program had this year,” he said. “From not only winning the regular season Tri-Rivers District title but to do it in undefeated fashion was unbelievable.”

The Broncos went 14-0 in regular season district play.

“Then to win the district tournament title as well against another big opponent in Brunswick, who is playing in the state semifinals at their respective level this season at (Class) 2,” he said. “Not to mention we overcame major adversity in that (district tourney title) game as well, with being down 20 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter to win by seven. 

“We earned the No. 1 overall seed in Region 1B and qualified for the state tournament for the first time in 14 years,” he continued. “We also had 24 wins, which will rank right up there toward the top in school history.”

Franklin finished the 2022-23 season with an overall record of 24-4.

“So, it is important to praise these young men for their accomplishments this season,” Cutchins said. “I’m so proud of them!”

The coach also conveyed his respect for Lancaster (28-0), which went on to rout Altavista High School in the state semifinals 69-40, setting up a showdown with George Wythe High School in the state championship Thursday, March 9.

Cutchins concluded comments in a postgame interview Friday by thanking all of Franklin’s fans for their support that night and the whole season.

Davis reported that the Broncos played in front of a tremendous crowd of Franklin fans Friday that included five busloads of students and parents, traveling in buses provided by FCPS, and an unnumbered total of individuals that drove their personal vehicles to the game.