Franklin girls beat DC, advance to regional finals
By Doug Dyer, for the Herald
Kari Goodwin has her team work on ball possession drills every day in practice. The goal is to make 30 consecutive passes under pressure without a shot or a turnover.
So with time winding down and a three-point lead over Dickson County in Monday's Region 6-AAA semifinal at Glencliff, Franklin had to call on those drills to play keep-away from the Cougars.
“We knew it was going to be a possession to possession game, so once we were up we had to start milking the clock,” Goodwin said. “We have been practicing that drill every day since we lost to them (in the district tournament). I knew it was going to come in handy.”
The plan worked, with Dickson getting just one shot over the final two minutes and the Lady Rebels earning their first region finals berth since 2005 with a 41-36 victory.
Rachel Hawn led the way for Franklin (19-10) with a double-double, scoring 17 points to go with 10 rebounds.
“We knew what we had to do, and we just went out and did it,” Hawn said. “Our press really got to them, and I think that helped us out.”
Franklin will face Overton in the finals Wednesday, which was a 32-29 winner over Brentwood in the other semifinal. Both teams automatically advance to the sectional round Saturday, with the Region 6 winner hosting the runner-up from Region 5, and the Region 6 runner-up going on the road to the Region 5 champ. Mt. Juliet takes on Rossview in the Region 5-AAA final.
Franklin’s 2005 appearance in the region finals resulted in a 71-38 loss to Hillsboro and subsequent 60-32 loss on the road to Wilson Central in the sectional round.
Defense paved the way for the victory Monday, thanks to five steals in the second half that came from the constant pressure the Lady Rebels were putting on Lea Lea Carter and the Dickson ball handlers.
“Carter and (Emily) Beard get other people shots, so we had to contain them,” Goodwin said. “We knew our half-court press was going to be key. We made some adjustments after the last time we played them, and I think it really helped us.”
Dickson led 21-17 at the half, but the Lady Rebels took the lead early in the third and held off an energetic Lady Cougar offense. Carter finished with 7 points for Dickson, while Payton Grove led the Cougars with 14. Anna Patton and Angela McPeek each scored eight in the win for Franklin.
Carter and Co. had closed to within two points late in the third after consecutive miscues by the Rebels, and a Franklin turnover to start the fourth allowed Dickson to tie it up at 31.
The Lady Rebels were able to score on the next possession and never trailed again. With Franklin up 39-36, Dickson’s Lainey Reed was fouled on a 3-point attempt with :25 remaining but missed all three foul shots to keep the Rebel lead at three.
Jodi Hill was able to bury two foul shots at the other end to seal the win with :09 left.
Posted on: 2/25/2014