The Spartans, who started three freshmen and two sophomores, did just about everything they needed to pick up a road win in a tough district. They shot the ball well – a 48 percent clip from the field – and they executed a defensive game-plan that limited Franklin's leading scorer Reese Glover to just six points. They also managed to build a fourth-quarter lead that stretched to 55-48 with just over five minutes to play. "I'll be honest with you, I don't feel bad about winning, but I feel bad for those Summit kids," Franklin coach Darrin Joines said. "They did everything they needed to to win and led for 30 minutes tonight." "The goal was to fight, scrap and scrap and scrap some more to give ourselves a chance in the end," Summit coach Josh Goodwin said. "We did that, we just didn't execute in the end … Plus we have to have more of those 50-50 plays go our way."
The Rebels staked a 10-2 rally triggered by a 3-point play from Glover to surge in front 58-57 for the first time when Reed Kemp hit a free throw with 2:22 to play. Jordan Bruce tacked on a free throw inside the final minute for a 2-point edge. "We were scoring, but we couldn't stop them," Joines said. "Before you know it, you're down seven and then you have to score every time. If we didn't get even one of those stops down the stretch, that's the game." Konata Werts still nearly pulled out the win for Summit, but his three-quarter court heave after the Spartans had to settle for a misplaced ball on the inbound, banged off the rim as the Rebels survived. With just over seven seconds to play after Ahsharri Haynesworth's two free throws, Werts hustled up court and hit a perimeter jumper for a 61-59 score before fouling Kemp to stop the clock. Kemp missed both at the line with two seconds remaining and Summit called a timeout on the rebound to set up a final play. Haynesworth led all scorers with 24 points. Just two-tenths of a second were taken off the clock after Matt Montana pulled down Kemp's missed freebie. Goodwin acknowledged the ball would be inbounded on the sideline with an official after the timeout and drew up a play. Out of the timeout, the ball was instead placed on the baseline under the basket as the Spartans settled with Werts for the heave. "Our kids have done a great job fighting for a win like this tonight, but I want them to be upset that we lost so they get back in the gym and keep working," Goodwin said, not commenting on the strange final seconds. "We don't want to settle with being close."
Summit dipped to 4-8 overall and 2-4 in district play. Franklin improved to 11-5 overall and 5-1 in the league. "We didn't play great, but we got the win," said Glover, who met a double-team at midcoast most of the night. "I was happy for the team because I didn't score a lot, but they pulled it out and some guys stepped up." Both Haynesworth and Matt Thurman (13 points) took advantage of Glover's extra defenders. "We had to step up because we knew they wanted to double- and triple-team Reese," Haynesworth said. "When they double-teamed Reese at half court, Matt would go high post and then try and dip it down to me or just take it one-on-one. Matt stepped up a lot." Keaten Wade led the Spartans with 17 points, while Werts netted 14. Goodwin is hopeful the tight finish will be built on and ultimately flip to wins in the near future. "Every experience is new for a lot of our guys and this late-game experience, games that come down to the wire like this, is good for these guys to have these experiences early," he said. "Hopefully that helps us in February and March to make the plays we need to come out on top in the end."
Franklin boys 61, Summit 59
SHS – 13 21 13 12 – 59
FHS – 11 24 11 15 – 61
SHS (59) – Hayden Turner 3, Destin Wade 6, Keaten Wade 17, Caleb Jolley 4, Jonathan Myers 7, Konata Werts 14, Triston Conger 8.
3-point goals – SHS 9 (Conger 2, Werts 2, D. Wade 2, K. Wade, Turner, Myers); FHS 3 (Glover, Bruce, Beavon). Total Fouls – SHS 19; FHS 10. Fouled Out – D. Wade, K. Wade.
Video Highlights: https://youtu.be/WviUCf9PqVI
Source: Williamson Herald