LEBANON — The wait only delayed the inevitable.
Franklin High School’s girls basketball team warmed up a couple times Tuesday while waiting for Thurgood Marshall, which had some transportation issues, to show up for a Division II sectional contest at Lebanon.
The game started 17 minutes late, but it was over in a hurry as top-seeded Franklin jumped ahead 9-0 en route to a 69-13 victory, its second straight blowout in the postseason.
GIRLS BASKETBALL COVERAGE
“The kids looked like they were really relaxed,” Wildcats coach John Rossi said. “We had 17 assists, which is probably a season high. That was good. We talked about making the extra passes and sharing the basketball. We said we needed to beat them up and down the floor, and I felt like we did that for 32 minutes.”
His players headed back to the locker room during their extended warmup time and did a little pregame dancing. Rossi said he had to decline when the coaches were asked to join in.
“Maybe later,” he said. “It all depends.”
Junior guard Madison Earles said there was a clear dancing leader — sophomore Rajana Quinn.
“I was a watcher,” Earles said. “RJ was the star of it.”
When Franklin (19-4) did hit the floor, it was clear that 12th-seeded Marshall (14-7) was overmatched. The Cougars only dressed seven players, getting four points from Amberly Tucker and 10 rebounds from D’erra Morris.
Marshall coach Kahlil Franklin said there was a bus mixup that caused the team to get a late start for Lebanon. A little traffic didn’t help.
“It was kind of a double whammy,” Franklin said. “We kind of knew what we were facing when we got here. Franklin’s got a good group of young ladies. I just wanted our girls to play hard and be competitive and give their best effort, and I’m satisfied with that. Regardless of the score, they kept playing and never gave up.”
Layne Ferrell had 22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals for the Wildcats, who will return to Lebanon on Monday to face ninth-seeded Fenwick (11-13) in a 7:30 p.m. district semifinal.
Jordan Rogers contributed 15 points and three assists, while Earles totaled a career-high seven points, six boards, two assists and two steals. Quinn and Kate Clevenger tallied their first varsity points.
The Wildcats were 8-of-15 from 3-point range, with Rogers, Ferrell and Skyler Weir hitting two apiece.
“Honestly, going into it, we didn’t know what to expect. But it was fun for everyone,” Earles said. “I’m not a big scoring aspect, but I get in there and do whatever I need to do. I may not get 12 minutes on the floor, but I get the minutes I do and I play as hard as I can and I support my team the best I can. Everybody’s important.”
Fenwick upset No. 3 seed Badin 53-46 in Tuesday’s second game at Lebanon, scoring 17 straight points down the stretch to erase a 44-36 deficit.
Rossi is a Fenwick graduate who headed the Falcons girls program during two different stints. He last coached at Fenwick in 2016-17, then moved on to Franklin.
“It’s not me against Fenwick. It’s Franklin against Fenwick, and it’ll be a great atmosphere,” Rossi said after watching the Falcons defeat Badin. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for both programs. Scott (Dalton) and I coached together for three years, and I’ve got a lot of respect for what he does. We’re going to have to do a little more homework now that they got the win over Badin.
“They’re playing really well right now. The thing I noticed is their energy level, even the kids on the bench. They’re bringing a lot of emotion. They’re winning the loose balls, they’re winning the 50-50s, and they’re making big shots late in the game.”
Thurgood Marshall 4-4-5-0—13
THURGOOD MARSHALL (14-7): Amari Scales 1 0 2; Naudia Norvell 1 1 3; Taylor Dunson 1 0 2; Amberly Tucker 2 0 4; D’erra Morris 1 0 2. Totals: 6-1-13
FRANKLIN (19-4): Jordan Rogers 5 3 15; Skyler Weir 2 0 6; Layne Ferrell 8 4 22; Brooke Stover 3 0 6; Emily Newton 1 2 4; Kristin Earles 1 1 4; Kate Clevenger 0 1 1; Madison Earles 3 0 7; Rajana Quinn 2 0 4. Totals: 25-11-69
3-pointers: F 8 (Rogers 2, Weir 2, Ferrell 2, K. Earles, M. Earles)
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