FRANKLIN – The Franklin High School boys basketball team extended its winning streak to eight games with a hard-fought 67-62 district win Friday night at crosstown rival Centennial.
“Wins aren’t easy in this league, especially here at Centennial,” Franklin coach Jason Tigert said after the contest. “We got out to a big lead, but the coaching staff knew this was going to be a dogfight and I think the guys know that now.”
The Cougars, coming off a slow start to the season with changes from new head coach Jeremy Moore and COVID issues, proved to be resilient. Falling behind 9-0 in the first two minutes of the game, Centennial answered with a 27-11 run over the next 10 minutes.
“These kids aren’t going to quit”, Moore said. “We’re working on our mental toughness. You’re going to face adversity in every game. They punched us in the mouth early, but we got the next couple of shots in and it settled down into a pretty good ballgame.”
The Admirals, who improved to 12-2 and 5-1 District 11-AAA, needed double-digit scoring from five different players to secure the win. Reed Kemp (21 points), Aidan Smylie (13 points), Connor Beavon (12 points), Taylor Spierto (11 points) and Matt Thurman (10 points) all contributed at key points. Kemp was held to just 10 points in the first three quarters but was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line in the final stanza to seal the win.
With the high-scoring Kemp being held in check by Patrick Garrett and Malachi Pointer, Smylie and Beavon kept Franklin in the game, aided by the frenetic energy supplied by Spierto on both ends of the floor.
“He is the glue," Tigert said of Spierto. "He does all the dirty work, will get on the ground, take the charges. If I were an employer, I’d love to have him working for my company.”
Moore, and many of the limited crowd in attendance, felt the Cougars played well enough to win.
“I’m disappointed because I thought we played well enough to win, and the kids deserved to win," he said. "But anytime you play Franklin with great players and coaches ... I was pleased with our effort but disappointed in the outcome.”
Centennial got standout performances from several players, led by Garrett’s 20 points and 11 from Trayvon Barbary. Sophomore post Lincoln Aholt had 12 points in the first half but picked up his third personal foul early in the third quarter and a fourth with seven minutes left in the game.
“We think the future is bright for Lincoln and we’re focusing on him being more consistent," Moore said. "And he’s got great guards throwing the ball in to him.”
Franklin girls 53, Centennial 10
Kate O’Neil’s 15 points led nine Lady Admirals in scoring as Franklin rolled past a youthful, shorthanded Centennial squad 53-10 Friday night on the road.
The Lady Admirals scored 18 of the first 20 points to set the tone early. O'Neil scored 13 points in the first half.
Dylann Gardner added nine points in the win.
Franklin returns home Tuesday to host Dickson County, while Centennial travels to Brentwood next.
THOMPSON'S STATION – Coming off an “embarrassing” midweek loss, the Summit High School boys …
Franklin boys 67, Centennial 62
FHS (67) – Reed Kemp 21, Aidan Smylie 13, Connor Beavon 12, Taylor Spierto 11, Matt Thurman 10.
CHS (62) – Patrick Garrett 20, Lincoln Aholt 14, Trey Barbary 11, Westmoreland 7, Mathew Joiner 4,Malachi Pointer 3, Mathew Busing 3.
3-pointers – FHS 5 (Beavon 2, Kemp, Smylie, Thurman), CHS 10 (Garrett 4, Barbary 3, Pointer, Westmoreland, Busing). Free Throws – Franklin 16-21, Centennial 6-9.
Franklin girls 53, Centennial 10
FHS 18 14 13 8 – 53
CHS 2 2 6 0 – 10
FHS (53) – Kate O’Neil 15, Dylann Garner 9, Lyla Gardner 8, Brenna Swiger 4, Lydia Potvin 4, Regi Hammond 3, Jean Costello 3, Emma Glover 3, Sarah McAdams 2, Cate Bennett 2.
CHS 10 – Andie Kelly 4, AJ Lein 3, Catherine Ligan 2, Callie Lacher 1.
3-pointers – FHS 5 (Gardner 2, Hammond, Costello, Glover), CHS (Lein). Free Throws – FHS 4-8, CHS 1-2.