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Franklin County takes two from Lawrence Co. Cougars

MEADVILLE – The Franklin County Bulldogs took a pair of ugly butuseful home victories Tuesday night over the Lawrence CountyCougars. In the girls contest the Lady Dawgs overcame an 11-pointdeficit to overwhelm Lawrence with a 43-40 nail-biter. In the boysgame, Franklin County used a late rally to overpower the Cougars50-39.

“This was another good victory for us,” said Lady Bulldogsheadmaster Charles Moore. Moore watched his always-improving LadyDawgs (3-7) stumble a bit in the first half, before quietly comingback in the fourth to bite the Lady Cougars (7-3) with a 18-pointrampage.

“We’re showing signs of improving every game,” added Moore. “I’mproud of how we came back and won this one tonight. It’s show ourdetermination and never quit attitude.”

Never quit, has become a motto the Lady Dawgs are quicklylearning under Moore’s system. They used it to perfection.

Trailing 31-25 after three quarters, the Lady Dawgs shiftedtheir focus of trying to stay close to winning with a barrage oflayups and putbacks that stunned the visitors. After taking a 40-38lead on a Tamera Gant steal and layup, the Lady Dawgs used theservices of senior point guard Talina King and sophomore forwardAshley King at the charity stripe for the final margin ofvictory.

“Although it wasn’t a division victory, it was a good one.”continued Moore. “We’ve got to continue to work hard, because we’vegot Hazlehurst again Friday.”

Franklin lost to the Lady Indians 49-40 last Friday night inMeadville.

Helping Moore’s ladies in the win was Gant with 11 points, sevenrebounds, three steals, and three assists. Freshman forward ShelenaWilcher added seven points, 12 boards, and two steals. Freshmanguard Victoria Hunt added 10 points and seven rebounds.

For the Lady Cougars, coached by Archie Ross, center StaceySmith led the way with a game-high 15 points and eight rebounds.Brittney Peyton finished with 12 points, four rebounds, threesteals, and two assists.

The Dawgs (8-2) roared out to a 9-2 firstquarter advantage off steals and layups from guards Bobby Hendersonand DeAndre Cameron. Franklin led the entire first half by seven ormore points, until the last two minutes when the Cougars (4-6) tookadvantage of three Franklin turnovers for a 19-15 deficit at thebreak.

“We started turning the ball over and losing focus in the secondquarter,” said Bulldog head coach Chris Jordan. “We blew anine-point lead, with those mistakes and missed free throwchances.”

Franklin missed 16 free throws in the game, before finallyhitting their last eight for a 24-point rampage in the fourthframe. Franklin outscored the Cougars 24-13 in the fourth,

and 13-3 in the final 2:17.

“We faced one the strongest teams physically we’ve seentonight,” added Jordan. “They had a couple of big guys that madeplays, when ours couldn’t. Overall we’ve got to stop turning theball over as much as we do. We had 23 turnovers and still managedto win.”

Franklin was led by Henderson with 15 points, six assists, fiveboards, and three steals. Cameron finished with 10 points, sixsteals, two rebounds, and two blocked shots. Junior Zach Thomasadded six blocked shots on nine points and 16 rebounds.

For the Cougars, Edward Mikell led with eight points, sixrebounds, and two blocked shots. Junior Justin Lewis added sixpoints, five rebounds, four blocked shots, and two assists.

The Cougars resume play Friday in the Mendenhall Tournamentagainst Simpson County rival Magee in the first round. The LadyCougars resume play again Dec. 27, at the East MarionTournament.

Franklin County resumes play Friday night in Hazlehurst with ajunior varsity boys game at 4, the girls game at 5, and the boyscontest at 6:45.