Franklin Academy 52, Raleigh Charter 46
by Marty Simpkins
WAKE FOREST — There was sweet victory at Franklin Academy after the boys basketball team defeated Raleigh Charter, 52-46.
The Patriots lost to the Phoenix earlier this season, 54-51, but got even by winning Friday night.
The win bumps Franklin Academy up in the conference standings to put them tied with Raleigh Charter for the fifth spot.
At the start of the game, Patriots coach Matt Durkin implemented a unique strategy on the court. He started four guards and a small forward in the lineup. The result was a smaller, but faster offense and defense. It worked well in the beginning, forcing Raleigh Charter to move the ball faster than they wanted to. Franklin Academy held the Phoenix to just six points for an 11-6 lead entering the second quarter.
“We needed energy,” Durkin said. “We needed some guys that could press and get some turnovers. It caused Raleigh Charter to speed up their game and we got those turnovers. That was a strategic move and it paid off for us.”
Both teams played better offensively in the second quarter, but the Patriots outscored the Phoenix to increase their lead to 27-17 at halftime.
Franklin Academy maintained a healthy lead in the third quarter. They couldn’t stop Raleigh Charter from scoring, but the Phoenix couldn’t stop the Patriots either and the score was 39-27 before the start of the fourth period.
Franklin Academy had some trouble boxing out in the fourth quarter and Raleigh Charter took advantage of the extra opportunities. After making some 3-pointers, the Phoenix were right back in the game to cut the lead to 42-41 with three and a half minutes left in the game.
However, the Patriots penetrated the paint and their inside scoring kept them ahead and won the game, 52-46.
“Raleigh Charter is a great team. They’re well-coached and they play hard,” Durkin said. “They’re not one of the top high schools in the country for nothing. They started getting some runs in the fourth quarter, but we were able to get some runs in the end. We held on to our time-outs and we told our guys to stay aggressive. Our guys did a great job of holding on to the win.”
Ball control was key for the Patriots, losing possession only five times. Additionally, Brandon Hanson scored 22 points in the game for the Patriots and made some big shots for them down the stretch to help them win the game.
Even though Fran-klin Academy has no hope of cracking the top four of the 1-A North Central Athletic conference standings, they still have a slim chance of making the state tournament, according to Durkin.
“We have hopes of still making the state tournament as a wild card,” Durkin said. “Tonight got us in the right direction to get there. I think we still got a chance. I’ve told our guys that you never know what’s going to happen.”