By Anthony Rinaldi, HockomockSports.com Contributor
WRENTHAM, Mass.- The Franklin boy’s and girl’s basketball teams both took double-digit victories Friday night on the road at King Philip.
In the first quarter of the first game, the boy’s got off to a quick 10-0 lead. Franklin used quick ball movement, and the extra pass to the open shooter to get themselves out in front early. They kept this up throughout the quarter giving themselves a 14-point lead (26-12).
In the second quarter Franklin continued its team play and quick passing to build on their double-digit lead. They also continued to full-court press King Philip, which gave the Warriors trouble throughout the game. The press would allow the Panthers to get turnovers and quick buckets in transition to give themselves a 20-point lead (47-27) at halftime.
“I thought the guys shared the ball, especially early in the game, really well. We came in with that being an emphasis”, Franklin coach C.J. Neely said.
“We wanted to wear them down,” Neely said when talking about the press. “Pressure was definitely a game-plan tonight, I thought the guys did a nice job, they rotated well.”
In the third quarter with the offense not clicking as it was in the first half the Panthers relied on that press and their defense to hold the Warriors to only two points both of which came from foul shots.
“We gave up a little too many open threes, we weren’t closing out very well in the first half,” Neely said. “At halftime I challenged them to get out on shooters and make them attack the rim, I thought we did good job both at protecting the paint and contesting open shots.”
The fourth quarter was all about maintaining the lead and continuing to play hard for the Panthers, and that they did cruising to a 67-41 victory.
For Franklin the leading scorer was Tim Prunier with 14 points, Paul Mahon was the only other Panther in double digits with 12 points. For King Philip, Noah Goodwin had nine points.
Strong Start Sparks Franklin Girls
In the second game of the evening the Franklin girls’ team got off to a similar start, grabbing an early 8-2 lead through eight straight points from Aubrie Kutil. The Warriors continued to fight and try and answer the Panthers in the opening frame, but the visitors took a nine-point lead into the second quarter.
In the second quarter it was all about foul shots for the Panthers. Eleven of their 18 points in the frame came from the charity stripe.
“We got off to a run and I thought that might continue throughout the game, but give them (King Philip) credit they made six points back to back they’re a good team,” said Franklin coach John Leighton.
About the foul shots he said “In high school basketball if you make your foul shots it seems to end well.”
In the third quarter, the Panthers really played well defensively only giving up nine points again, but they could not hit a foul shot (4-12), which kept King Philip in the game going into the fourth quarter.
In that fourth, with about 4:30 left, KP hit a three and then a jumper, which brought the Panther lead down to nine and it looked like the Warriors were gaining momentum. However, senior Olivia Adiletto hit a big three with 3:45 left in the game to give the Panthers a 12-point lead (56-44). Then defensively they did not give up another point to the Warriors taking the game 64-44.
“I thought the defensive end in the fourth quarter is where it was won,” Leighton said.
“Olivia slowed everything down and got us set, to try and give different people looks…I was really proud of my tri-captains tonight as well.”
For Franklin, Adiletto was the leading scorer with a game-high 20 points. Kutil was also in double figures for the Panthers, contributing 15 points along with 13 rebounds. For King Philip, Maddie Purdue was the leading scorer with 13, Sam Madden was also in double digits with 11.
On the boy’s side Franklin (6-1, 4-1) next week has a big week as they take on Foxboro on Tuesday at home, then go on the road to face Kelly-Rex rival Mansfield three days later. King Philip (0-6, 0-5) has two straight home games, against Sharon and North Attleboro.
On the girl’s side, Franklin (4-2, 3-2) goes on the road to face Foxboro,then faces Mansfield. King Philip (1-6, 0-5) goes on the road on Saturday to play Framingham, then face Sharon on Tuesday.
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