Franklin Academy 34, Rocky Mount Academy 65
by Marty Simpkins
ZEBULON — A 65-34 loss to Rocky Mount Academy gave the Franklin Academy boys basketball team a fourth place finish in the East Wake Academy summer league tournament June 25.
Franklin Academy got out-rebounded by Rocky Mount Academy in the first half and as a result, they trailed 28-15 at halftime.
“We didn’t hit any shots in the first half,” coach Matt Durkin said. “We were hanging in there, but none of our shots were going down. When that happens, confidence goes down, moral goes down and the other team pulls away.”
Rocky Mount Academy started the second half with a 12-0 run. Franklin Academy couldn’t mount a comeback due to some poor passing and decision making with the ball. The end result was a blowout.
“Rocky Mount is quicker, has better ball handling and is stronger than us,” Durkin said. “We looked a step and a half slow against their man defense. I’ve got to coach our guys better so they’ll know what to do when that kind of stuff happens.”
The Patriots ended their summer league with a 2-4 record, losing their last three games. Franklin Academy only has two returning starters from varsity last year.
“I was hoping to get into the first and second place game,” Durkin said. “The competition this year was a lot better than last year’s summer league. Our guys learned a lot and learned about each other. It’s nice to win a couple of games, but I always focus on the losses. We’ve got to work better offensively with our shooting, have better footwork on defense and learn how to play at a varsity level speed.”
Durkin also mentioned some new bright spots for the team. Chris Beatty, a rising sophomore, started at point guard for the Patriots this summer. Jackson Turner is also the Patriots’ new forward who made some noticeable plays down in the post.
“Chris Beatty has a lot of speed and he’s a good ball handler,” Durkin said. “He’s raw and has to play better on the defensive end. Jackson Turner is a nice low post presence for us. He needs to learn how to slow down a little bit and make better decisions. Those two guys really stepped it up in this tournament.”
With almost a brand new team to work with, Durkin said that the summer league helped him learn more about his squad and what they need to work on before the start of the regular season in November.
“Most of the guys this year are coming from junior varsity,” Durkin said. “The speed of varsity is a little too quick for them right now. I want them to start playing against some tough competition for the rest of the summer until the regular season starts.”