By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by KINDELL BUCHANAN
First, Franklin celebrated on its home court after a 60-57 win over Dickson County.
Then the Rebels celebrated again in the hallway outside their locker room Friday night after learning that Centennial upset Brentwood again.
That combination of results gives Franklin (22-4, 12-3 District 11-AAA) a chance to earn the top seed in the league tournament via tie-breaker with a victory at last-place Spring Hill Tuesday night.
Franklin and Brentwood split this season, so the next tie-breaker is how the co-leaders did against third-place Ravenwood. Both teams swept two games from Ravenwood.
Fourth-place Centennial is the next tie-breaker. Franklin split with Centennial and Brentwood lost twice.
That gives the top seed to Franklin if it wins Tuesday.
“I think any time you have a chance to be at the top of the league that’s good, but it’s not the end-all/be-all,” Rebels coach Darrin Joines said. “We’ve got some lofty goals.”
Franklin hosts the later rounds of the tournament that starts Thursday.
“I think being at home may be the best thing,” said Joines, whose team is 14-1 at home.
Senior guard Evan Sigler was the hero against Dickson (13-13, 6-9), as he led the Rebels with 23 points and five 3-pointers.
His 3-pointer from the left corner gave Franklin a 68-65 lead with 41.2 seconds left.
The Cougars narrowed the gap to 68-67 on Cade Purvine’s layup with 28 seconds left, but Sigler struck again with two foul shots that completed the scoring with 14.4 seconds remaining.
“Reese (Glover) dribbled around the defense and got into the lane and kicked it out to me in the corner,” Sigler said of the money 3. “I mean, it was a great pass. I think we have the best chemistry of any team around this area.
“I love the guys on our team and we are all close to each other and we hold each other accountable, but we can also lift each other up. And I think that’s a brotherhood that will continue throughout the season and in life. Right now, we’re clicking.”
Glover added 18 points and Jack Patton scored 15 for the Rebels, who buried nine 3-pointers.
“I thought we did pretty good job defending the 3-line, but (Sigler) got loose a little bit,” Cougars coach Jason Tigert said. “It’s just difficult when they have as many shooters as they have. But, overall, I thought our guys competed and did a good job.”
Senior Noah Edmisson led the Cougars with 19 points and Purvine added 14. Edmisson missed a chance to tie the game when his 3-point attempt bounced off the rim with five seconds left.
Dickson features a young lineup that used four sophomores, two juniors and three seniors in its rotation against the Rebels.
“I hope it gives our guys some confidence that we can play with the top teams in the league, but we’ve got to make winning plays at the end,” Tigert said. “We’ll learn from this, hopefully.”
Dickson is sixth in the district, a half-game ahead of Page. The upset-minded Cougars led by seven at one point.
“I think they’re like us,” Joines said. “They penetrated well, they kick it well. And they’re not done, believe me. They’re a lot like us in terms of shooting the ball. They can break us down a little bit on the dribble.”
Dickson County hosts Summit on Tuesday.
Franklin visits Spring Hill on Tuesday.