Franklin Academy 49
River Mill 55
by Marty Simpkins
WAKE FOREST — It’s been a tough week for the Franklin Academy girls basketball team. After losing at Roxboro Community Jan. 17, the Lady Patriots dropped another one to River Mill Friday night, 55-49.
Coach Erin Thornton said that River Mill’s 3-point shooters were locked in against her defense and there was little her team could do about them.
“Our perimeter defense was as good as we could get,” Thornton said. “But if you’re banking shots from way outside the arc, there’s no way to stop it. I thought our defense was great, but I don’t know what else we could have done. It was one of those nights.”
River Mill’s senior Kena Brincefield hit six shots from behind the 3-point line and the shooting accuracy was too much for Franklin Academy to handle.
Not only that, but the Lady Patriots didn’t look like themselves on offense. They were inconsistent in their passing and turned the ball over 19 times.
“River Mill had a lot of pressure on the front court, which always bothers us,” Thornton said. “We should have taken better care of the basketball. That’s the reason we lost.”
Franklin Academy’s Abbey Keel scored the first six points of the game for the Patriots, but then River Mill stormed back and took the lead at 8-6. With just a couple of minutes left in the first quarter, Amelia Huffman knocked down three 3-pointers to retake the lead over River Mill and the Lady Patriots entered the second quarter up 15-8.
Franklin Academy’s perimeter defense couldn’t handle River Mill’s 3-point shooting in the second quarter and it resulted in a 31-23 Jaguar lead before halftime.
Things were looking pretty grim for the Lady Patriots at the beginning of the second half. One of their captains, senior forward Brittany Henderson, injured her arm and was taken out of the game. Franklin Academy wasted their possessions by making terrible passes, allowing River Mill to stay in the lead.
Henderson came back into the game later and the rest of her team started rallying around her to cut the deficit to 40-36 before the start of the fourth quarter.
The Patriots fought back the best they could, but unfortunately their poor passing made a comeback difficult. Their late efforts in the end were not enough and Franklin Academy lost, 55-49.
The Jaguars got their revenge at Franklin Academy, after losing to them earlier this season, 39-31. It was also River Mill’s seventh win in a row and the Patriots second loss in their last three games.
Nonetheless, Thornton remains optimistic about her team for the rest of the season.
“We’ve still got a conference tournament to win,” Thornton said. “There’s still a lot of basketball left. You can learn a lot from everything. Hopefully we’ll learn to get better.”