Franklin’s Garrison Mathews and the rest of the Rebels had a long night in Tuesday’s District 11-AAA championship event at Indy. Brentwood’s Grant Tiechman (32), Andy Schumpert (40) and Jacob Adcock (left) not only kept Mathews off the boards on this play,but kept the Rebels out of sync all night. Brentwood took the title with a 52-43 victory.
In what was expected to be another heated battle between longtime rivals, Brentwood’s defense and Franklin’s polar vortex shooting led to a near anti-climatic victory for the Bruins who won the District 11-AAA tournament title Tuesday night at Independence, 52-43.
“We played our zone better tonight than we have in the last two years,” said Bruins’ head coach Dennis King. “The kids just buzzed around like a hornet’s nest.”
But even King was surprised his team had held the Rebels to a single point in a near twelve minute stretch in the first and second quarter. Franklin was hampered during the Bruins 16-1 run by 0-of-12 shooting and seven turnovers.
Brentwood jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two minutes before Franklin’s Ben Hagaman tied the game with a pair of buckets and a free throw with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
Little did anyone know that Hagaman’s next point, a free throw at the 1:38 mark of the second, would be the Rebels’ next score. Franklin got a pair of Garrison Mathews baskets in the final minute, going into the locker room down 21-10.
“Ben just played great, always battling,” said Franklin head coach Jamie Wilson of the Dartmouth-bound football player. “He played hard and we kept missing him on the block. By the time we started finding him, we were too late.”
Despite shooting a miserable 18% from the field in the first half, Wilson was able to find a silver lining at the half.
“I told them at half ‘We’re still in this one. We went eleven minutes and only got one point. Should we be in this game at all?”
Franklin continued to struggle at the start of the second half, scoring only twice in the first 6:15 of the period, once on a Hagaman inside move and at the 3:45 mark when Tanner Spalding got a put-back.
While Franklin struggled, Grant Tiechman began to assert himself, picking up the majority of his team leading 14 points and five rebounds. As the fourth quarter started, the Rebels were down 36-23.
Franklin cut the lead to nine in the first minute of the final stanza but a pair of turnovers led quickly to James McPherson lay-ins for the Bruins with 5:30 left to play. The Rebels got as close as seven with two-and-a-half minutes to play, but again a pair of turnovers leading to Brentwood baskets ended the threat.
Mathews added 9 points and eight rebounds to Hagaman’s 16 points to lead Franklin. Andy Schumpert added 11 to Brentwood’s total and Jalen Jones chipped in 10 for the Bruins.
Both teams advance to the Region 6-AAA tournament later this week. Franklin will play Hillwood and Franklin will get Hillsboro.
“I was really pulling for Hillwood the other night,” said a smiling King. “We haven’t played them in forever. Hillsboro, though, just left our district and (Hillsboro coach) Rodney (Thweatt) knows everything we do.
“It’s going to be a dog fight.”
Posted on: 2/20/2014