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Rebels avenges loss, drops Centennial

Centennial's Tyrel Dodson goes up strong against Franklin's Tanner Spalding (32) in last night's  56-42 Rebel victory. Photo by Alan Corry
In an electric atmosphere where the fans were loud, the energy was high and the mistakes were plentiful by both teams, Franklin found enough calm to earn a 56-42 road win over Centennial Friday night.
The Rebels (9-11, 5-4 District 11-AAA) overcame 22 turnovers and took advantage of a poor shooting night by Centennial to turn a five-point halftime lead into a 14-point victory.
“Our whole focus has been good this week after our win Tuesday at Dickson County,” said Franklin’s Matt Hargreaves, who had eight points for the Rebels. “We came into this game with some confidence. Our intensity and focus couldn’t be matched, and that helped us win.”
Joe Critchlow led all scorers with 14 points for Franklin, while Tanner Spalding finished with eight points and Garrison Matthews had nine. Rasean McLemore led the Cougars with 12 points, nine of those coming in the second half, and Tyrel Dodson also got to double figures with 10.
Centennial gave Franklin fits with its full-court pressure defense, which created multiple Rebel turnovers and subsequent scoring opportunities at the other end, but the Cougars could not cash in. When Franklin did break the press, however, it made for some easy baskets.
“We had some success breaking the press and getting some easy looks,” Franklin coach Jamie Wilson said. “So we started trying to hit home runs with our passes. I told them we don’t have to hit home runs, just break the press and execute.”
The Cougars were executing on defense but struggled to find any kind of offensive flow, finishing just 14-of-47 from the floor, even though they were consistently getting wide open shots. If those shots aren’t falling, it makes for a long night, coach Lawanza Crutcher said.
“You don’t beat anybody when you shoot like that,” he said. “(Franklin) didn’t shoot it well, but they battled and shot well from the free throw line. Our defense was solid enough, but we’ve gotta make shots.”
The first half was full of anxious plays and poor shooting by both teams, despite both having several wide open looks at the basket. The Rebels were able to do enough to lead 19-15 going to the locker room, where a talk from Wilson helped calm their nerves.
The Rebels battled through some up and down stretches but never gave up the momentum in the second half. After leading by as many as 13 in the third, Centennial rallied to make the Franklin lead six early in the fourth but the Rebels eventually pulled away.
“I challenged them at halftime, and I couldn’t be prouder of how they played in the second half defensively,” Wilson said.
Franklin girls 54, Centennial 26: The Lady Rebels held Centennial to just seven points in the second half, as Meredith Ovies scored 10 points to lead Franklin.
Centennial had no players score in double figures. Delani Distefano was the Cougars’ leading scorer with seven points.
Anna Patton chipped in nine points and Angela McPeek had eight for Franklin, while Jordan Johnson contributed five points for the Lady Cougars, who kept pace in the first half and trailed by 11 at the break.
Up next for the two Franklin teams is a trip to McGavock Saturday night followed by a home contest against Sycamore Tuesday, while Centennial travels to face Ravenwood on Tuesday. 

Posted on: 1/25/2014


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