Added adversity has been a constant in terms of personnel for the Summit girls basketball team this season.
The Lady Spartans started the season without leading post presence Ellie Colson and were just getting accustomed to having her back into the lineup before a bout with the flu sidelined the junior again.
Regardless, the Summit girls regrouped and battled past an improving Franklin team 51-39 to move into fifth in the District 11-AAA standings. The Lady Spartans closed on a 9-0 run, while holding the host Lady Rebels scoreless over the final 2 minutes, 39 seconds.
“We needed this one,” said Summit senior Megan Easterday, who scored a game-best 16 points, including a critical 3-pointer with 83 seconds to play. “We’ve had to switch around a lot, but even though we’ve had to adjust a lot, we’ve all done a good job. That’s a testament to our team. We’re just fighters.”
Summit improved to 12-10 overall and squared it’s district mark at 7-7 with two games remaining against Page Friday and at Dickson County next week.
The Lady Spartans also bounced back from a disappointing 67-64 setback at Independence last week where the Lady Eagles stormed back from a 24-point third-quarter deficit to win in overtime.
Lady Spartan coach John Wild, who guided the Franklin girls for two seasons before taking over at Summit this year, credited his team’s defense down the stretch for keeping Franklin at bay.
“I thought defensively, particularly there at the end, we did a pretty good job on our man,” he said. “I think our kids did a good job of recognizing when to switch and when we switched … we stepped out and extended with high hands.”
Summit’s Emma Kate Brattan, who also missed time because of injury this season, scored five straight on a 3-pointer and two free throws for a 41-33 lead with 4:12 to play.
Franklin responded with a Brenna Swiger 3-point play and Bergen Allee later closed the gap to 42-39 with 2:39 remaining when she hit a 3-pointer from in front of the Lady Rebel bench. Those, however, were the final Franklin points.
Franklin coach Jay Johnson, who joked that facing Wild is fun despite trying to prepare for "5,000 or so sets," said his team’s inexperience hampered the home team over the final couple minutes.
The Lady Rebels lacked urgency on the offensive end and forced several plays, he said. They were in just the third game with freshman Lyla Gardner taking over point guard duties to help free-up Allee's shooting. Gardner had nine assists in 57-39 win over Centennial Friday, but was limited by the veteran Lady Spartan guards Tuesday.
“I will never question the effort and really, if we can keep playing like we have been, the results are going to come,” Johnson said. "It may not be this week. It may not be next week. It may be November next year before it does. But if we keep playing like that, we're going to get better.”
After Allee’s 3, Easterday had a quick response with a putback before following with her 3-pointer from the wing. Marli Andersen, who added 13 points, tacked on 6-of-6 free-throw shooting in the fourth. The senior guard slashed to the hoop on several occasions.
“Every possession means something and you got to get high quality shots,” Wild said. “You got to get the right kids shooting the ball in the right spots and that sort of thing. And I think our kids did that late in the game.”
Kate O’Neil led the Lady Rebels with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She ended the first, second and third quarters with buzzer-beating baskets, but the Lady Rebels struggled shooting overall, connecting on just 30 percent from the field.
Being in the right place at the right time worked Tuesday, but Summit boys basketball coach Jim Fey is far from satisfied despite his team’s 5…
Franklin concludes a three-game homestand with a visit from Dickson County Friday, while Summit hosts Page.
“We could have ducked our tails like four separate times this season,” Easterday said, “but, we’ve stepped up and made plays as a team and that really matters at this point.”
Summit girls 51, Franklin 39
SHS – 7 15 12 17 – 51
FHS – 8 14 10 7 – 39
SHS (51) – Marli Andersen 13, Taylor Penning 1, Emma Kate Bratton 6, Claudette Runk 2, Cydney Wright 5, Megan Easterday 16, Nicole Rizane 5, Jaidyn Ramzy 3.
FHS (39) – Wren Doran 4, Lauren McKnight 3, Bergen Allee 6, Brenna Swiger 11, Kate O’Neil 15.
3-pointers – SHS 6 (Easterday 2, Andersen, Bratton, Ramzy, Rizane); FHS 3 (Allee 2, McKnight). Total Fouls – SHS 9; FHS 12. Fouled Out – None.