The Franklin-Simpson Lady Cats used another 4th Quarter comeback to get their third 13th District victory of the season, 39-36 over the Logan County Lady Cougars.
The Lady Cats are 3-1 overall in 13th District play and maintain their one game lead over the Russellville Lady panthers and Todd County Central Lady Rebels who are both 2-2 in the district. The Lady Cougars’ district record falls to 1-3.
“This district is up for grabs and I tell the girls that you can never take anything for granted, even if you are the better team on paper,” Lady Cats head coach Ashley Taylor said. “We’re not good enough to just show up and throw our shoes on the floor and play.”
“This district is so competitive,” Lady Cougars head coach Dedra Adler said. “Any given night, any team can beat any other team and I think we have seen that all season long. We will see that in March as well during the district tournament.”
The sophomore trio of Le Le Partinger, Hadley Turner and Conleigh Wilson combined to score the first six points in the 1st Quarter for the Lady Cats. Later, senior Kate Norwood’s jumper gave Franklin-Simpson an 8-2 lead. Lady Cougars’ sophomore Gracie Borders scored all four points in the quarter as the Lady Cats led 8-4 at the end of the first.
With back to back 3-pointers from senior Abby Hinton and junior Sierra Seiber, Logan County took the lead, 15-12. Later a traditional three-point play from Gracie Borders gave the Lady Cougars their biggest lead of the game at 20-12. Franklin-Simpson scored six points in the quarter as their four-point lead at the start of the quarter turned into a 20-14 deficit at halftime.
“The players knew they played bad and that is the growth in our leadership,” Taylor said. “They were already talking to each other in the locker room. They didn’t need us to tell them that they played a bad quarter. They knew that they had to respond in playing a bad quarter and that is what they did in the 2nd Half.”
Senior Alera Barbee had a strong 3rd Quarter for the Lady Cats as she scored nine of the team’s 15 points. But the Lady Cougars maintained their lead with two clutch 3-pointers from Seiber. Freshman Katelyn McAlister’s basket got Franklin-Simpson to within two, 31-29 but Gracie Borders’ basket at then end of the quarter gave Logan County a 33-29 lead at the end of three.
Senior Kate Norwood’s basket along with free throws from Barbee and Turner, the Lady Cats tied the game at 33-33. With Seiber’s basket and a free throw from Gracie Borders,the Lady Cougars led 36-33. Franklin-Simpson got two free throws from Le Le Partinger that made the score 36-35. Then Turner scored a basket in the paint that gave the Lady Cats a 37-36 lead. Partinger’s steal and assist to Norwood for a breakaway layup gave them a 39-36 lead. With 10 seconds left, Logan County’s 3-point shot by Gracie Borders was blocked by Partinger and grabbed by junior Damyah Hopson that sealed the game for Franklin-Simpson as they came back from a six-point 2nd Half deficit for the 39-36 victory over the Lady Cougars.
“We threw the first punch in the 1st Quarter and then we took our foot off the gas as we had a really bad 2nd Quarter as we gave up 16 points and couldn’t score much,” Taylor said. “Our identity is our defense. Without it, we are not very good. Our defense fuels our offense and that got us some key plays and points in the 4th Quarter.”
Barbee scored a game high of 12 points with Kate Norwood scoring 10 and Hadley Turner adding nine for the Lady Cats.
“It feels good to be back on the court and help my teammates with my rebounding and playing defense. I work really hard on my defense and every game, I want to play hard and contribute to help my team win,” Hopson said. “This is a huge win and we are striving to win the district season and then the tournament and I feel like we can do it.”
“Myself and Damyah feed off each other’s energy and so when we’re going, we’re ready,” Ashanti Johnson said. “We worked hard in practice over the past couple of days and we re grateful for this win tonight.”
Gracie Borders also scored a game high of 12 points with Seiber adding 11 points for the Lady Cougars.
“I felt like there were several times that we were weak with the basketball and when Franklin-Simpson was aggressive defensively, we got to be stronger,” Adler said. “Late in the game, we made some decisions that I can’t be mad at. In those moments with the game on the line, our youth did hurt us against a pretty experienced team with players like Alera (Barbee) and Kate (Norwood) and others who have been playing for three to four years.”
Franklin-Simpson will try to take another step closer in trying to win the 13th District regular season championship when they play at the Russellville Panthers in a key girls/boys district doubleheader.
Tip-off time is at 6 p.m. and 1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast the games starting at around 5:45 p.m. and on the internet by going to www.franklinfavorite.com and click on the WFKN link in the blue toolbar. Then click on the WFKN Sports tab and press the play button.