Defensive Effort In Middle Quarters Propels Panthers

Marcus Giese

Franklin’s Marcus Giese (42) drives to the hoop against King Philip’s Erich Ryan (44). (Josh Perry/
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FRANKLIN, Mass. – After allowing King Philip to score 17 points in the opening frame, Franklin’s defense tightened up and the Panthers pulled away for a 58-43 win.
Trailing 17-13 after one, the Panthers’ defense allowed a total of just eight points combined in the second and third quarters to build a 34-25 lead after three.
“I’m really proud of the defensive intensity and toughness,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “We said we wanted to smell like sewer we wanted to be so dirty on the defensive end. That’s what it was – grinding out stops, deflections, five guys rotating on every play and pressure on the ball. It’s exactly how you draw it up in the preseason the way you want your team to look like defensively in those quarters.”
King Philip’s Nick Dumont drained a three at the buzzer to end the first but for the next 16 minutes of play, it was all Franklin. The Panthers outscored KP 14-3 in the second and then 16-5 in the third quarter.
A three pointer from senior Markus Bohmiller (career-high 16 points) started to big run off for Franklin and then with 2:23 left, Bohmiller sank another one to give the Panthers a 25-18 lead. Marcus Giese grabbed a rebound (16 total) on the offensive end and made a put back to give Franklin a 27-20 lead going into half.
After coming off a career game on Tuesday, Giese continued his hot streak, dropping seven of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter and picking up six assists in the frame. Giese was also a vital part in Franklin’s pressure defense, not allowing many easy shots in the paint as he racked up five blocks.
“Having him on the back end is a huge deal,” Neely said. “Having a 6’7” guy waiting at the rim is a huge deal. I can’t say how much he does for our defense. And it’s been an emphasis in recent days to get him the ball more. He’s an all league player and we weren’t getting him the ball. We started getting it to him and we started playing better.”
As for Bohmiller, Neely said he earned playing time on Thursday night because of his defensive effort.
“The three-point shot thing, he’s been doing – he’s one of the best shooters we have,” Neely said. “The thing we’ve challenged him with is the solid defense. He’s been trying to make the fantastic defensive plays so he’s been challenged for the past week to show he can play team defense and he’s bought in. He did exactly what we asked him to do.”
The Warriors finally got the offense going in the fourth quarter, outscoring Franklin 18-15 in the final frame, but it was too little too late. James O’Brien led King Philip with 13 points, while Ryan Layman chipped in with 10 points. Erich Ryan had seven points and seven rebounds.
“Overall I was pretty happy with how we played them defensively,” KP head coach Matt Coute said. “I thought we made them think a bit with our traps and we mixed it up a bit. We gambled and they got some layups but at the same time, I think we made Giese catch the ball where he didn’t want to catch it. He had 21 but it was a 21 I was willing to take so defensively I was happy with the effort. Offensively, you have to get out run. For us, there was far too much dribbling and we settled for too many three pointers.”
Franklin (6-2) will be back in action on Saturday in the Game of the Week as they take on rival Mansfield at the TD Garden. King Philip (4-3) will look to bounce back when they take a trip to Sharon on Tuesday.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Ryan Lanigan
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