Franklin advances with overtime win
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Garrison Matthews and Joe Critchlow both had double-doubles to led a complete team effort last night as Franklin led, trailed, rallied and survived overtime to defeat an underrated Hillwood team 57-53, advancing to Tuesday night’s Region 6-AAA semi-finals against Hunters Lane.
But it would have all been for naught without Carson Young. The junior guard scored only two points, but they may have been the biggest of the season for the youthful Rebels.
Young nailed two free throws with 4-seconds left in overtime to put the game out of reach. And the build-up to the crescendo was equally dramatic.
The Rebels opened up 14-8 lead after the first quarter as Mathews came out of the blocks with a passion on the offensive end. The Hilltoppers then went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-14 lead before Critchlow dropped a pair of free throws. The see-saw first half ended with both teams hitting a pair of three pointers in the final minute, the final one giving Hillwood a 28-25 lead.
Franklin opened up a five point lead in the third before the Hilltoppers used their speed advantage and offensive board work to stop the surge. Another long Hillwood three-pointer at the buzzer tied the game at 38.
With the game tied, Hillwood held possession of the ball from the 2:39 mark of the fourth quarter until a driving lap-up with 11-seconds left put them up 49-47. Two time outs later, a cutting Mathews laid in the tying scoring on a back door run only the Rebels saw coming.
Hillwood’s final three-point attempt was blocked into the grandstands by Mathews as time expired.
In the overtime, it was more of the same give and take before Franklin finally went ahead 55-53 with 17-seconds left. The ‘Toppers raced down the floor and two attempts at three pointers before the Rebels grabbed the rebound and Young was fouled. His free throws iced the victory.
Mathews was credited with 24 points and ten rebounds while Critchlow tossed in 15 points while grabbing 10 boards and Hagaman had 12. Critchlow and Young added five assists each.
Franklin will play in the semi-finals of the tournament against a very strong Hunters Lane team. The Warriors eliminated Dickson County 65-43.
Posted on: 2/23/2014