Franklin’s Reese Glover was a little emotional after he led the Rebels to a second straight Region 6-AAA championship at Brentwood High School on Thursday.
“I just love this Franklin community," the senior said in the postgame press conference. "That’s all I’ve got to say.”
That’s probably more than he had to say after turning in a one-of-a-kind second-half performance, scoring 27 points in 15 minutes and leading his Rebels to a 78-51 win over Brentwood.
After scoring only two points on 1-of-9 shooting in the first half, mainly due to smothering defense from the Bruins’ John Windley, Glover came alive in the second half.
The game was tied at 23 at the half, then Franklin was up by three at the 5:24 mark when Glover hit his first 3-pointer. When he hit his fifth straight four possessions later, Franklin's student section "The Rebellion" launched into a chant of, “MVP! MVP! MVP!” that was so loud players were unable to hear the official’s whistles signaling a timeout.
The senior hit two out of his last three from long range, knocking down 7-of-8 second-half 3-point attempts and finishing with 29 points. He hit shots from 30-feet out, with defenders hanging on him, bumping him, throwing hands in his face in one of the most astounding shooting displays in the last 30 years.
Hoops Photo Gallery – Franklin boys vs. Brentwood, Region 6-AAA Championship
The Franklin boys basketball claimed a second consecutive Region 6-AAA championship with a 78-51 win over Brentwood Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 at Brentwood High School. The Rebels outscored the Bruins 55-28 in the second half.
Glover is the youngest of three Glover boys to wear the maroon and white, and quick to point out, with a smile, that he is the only one to win two regional titles. But it is when talking about the group around him he now calls family and brothers that his throat begins to tighten.
“This team is a family, and these are my brothers," he said. "We will do whatever it takes to win.”
There may be no better example of that than Thursday night’s first half.
With Glover struggling, young sophomore Reed Kemp became both ball handler and scorer, notching nine points and snagging five rebounds in the opening 16 minutes while classmate Matt Thurman was ruthless on defense, taking up space underneath. But it was the “youngest” brother, senior transfer Ahsharri Haynesworth that had his finest night.
Reese Glover, Ahsharri Haynesworth and the Franklin Rebels dominated in the second half of Thursday’s Region 6-AAA championship at Brentwood H…
Haynesworth had seven points and four rebounds in the first half against an aggressive and physical Brentwood defense. He cut loose after the break, nailing both of his 3-point attempts, bookends on Glover’s first five, and finishing with 19 points. The seven straight treys broke open the game and broke the back of the Bruins, giving Franklin the largest margin of victory over their arch rivals since a 17-point victory in January 2010.
The senior standout guided Franklin to a 73-56 semifinal win over Summit on Tuesday. He dropped in 25 points, including three triples. Spartans coach Josh Goodwin watched Glover drill several long-range bombs as well as finishing at the rim with defenders hanging off him.
"Those are shots that, whether it's really good college players or really good high school players or NBA guys, great defense doesn’t beat great offense," he said. "Some guys can just jump up and make those shots and he’s done it his whole career."
Glover was the focus of much of the verbal gamesmanship that the Brentwood student section dished out with great proficiency on Thursday. His own section responded with its own brand of one-ups.
It did not go unnoticed by the subject of the comments.
“I love our fans, our students. It’s special to know they have my back,” Glover said as his voice began to trail away.
Franklin will host Gallatin Monday night with a state tournament berth on the line. The Rebels lost to Mt. Juliet in the sectional round at home last year. The Rebels haven't advanced to state since winning it all in 1989 – 30 years ago.