STORY BY JAKE DONOVAN | PHOTOS BY DEB SCALLY
On a night when she couldn’t find her normal shooting stroke, Bergen Allee found value in being in the wrong place at the very right time.
The freshman drained a three-pointer from the corner with 1.2 seconds remaining, giving Franklin a 56-53 win over the hosting Brentwood Bruins in an instant classic.
Allee’s game-winner capped a 7-2 run by the visiting Lady Rebels, who trailed 51-49 midway through the 4th quarter after having led by as much as 15 earlier in the evening.
“This really showed how resilient our kids are,” Franklin head coach John Wild said afterwards of the heart exuded by his young team. “We could’ve folded at any point during (the second half). A lot of young teams would’ve folded, the way they caught us and then took the lead.”
Franklin—who lost its district home opener versus Brentwood in November—came storming out the gate, with Darcy Doran and Kate O’Neil scoring 8 points each in a 1st quarter that ended with the Lady Rebels enjoying a 22-8 lead. Doran was a menace on defense, hardly a new experience for the senior post player, who had four steals to go along with her usual well-rounded night of 10 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and a blocked shot.
“You have to love to have a kid like Darcy in the program,” notes Wild of his senior leader. “She’s a team player, she’s coachable, she’s dependable. She’s our best defender and comfortable in her role guarding Amelia (Osgood, 7 points) all night. She didn’t totally shut her down but made her work for every basket. That’s the way you want your senior today.”
The all-around team play carried into halftime for the Lady Rebels, who led 35-20 at the break. Brentwood’s high-scoring twin duo of Emily and Delaney Trushel were held to a combined 2 points through the first 16 minutes, with only the long-range shooting of Kaitlyn Lorenzi (12 points, all from three-point range) preventing an outright blowout.
“The biggest thing that hurt us tonight and what we have to correct (Friday) versus Dickson, we simply have to beat the other team to the punch,” Brentwood coach Myles Thrash said of his team’s slow start.
The Lady Bruins turned the game around in the hurry once the second half began. Emily Trushel found her hot hand, exploding for 10 of her team-high 18 points in a 3rd quarter that saw Brentwood all but erase a 15-point halftime deficit.
“Emily was a lot more aggressive in the second half,” Thrash noted of the junior’s play “We didn’t do a very good job attacking the basket in the first half. Emily had the big 3rd quarter and our shooters were more composed in the 4th, but it wasn’t enough.”
Franklin’s offense was limited to that of highly-touted freshman Sydney Ryan, who scored a game-high 23 and was responsible for all of the Lady Rebels’ eight points in the 3rd quarter.
“We earned this. That’s what makes this so much bigger,” said Ryan, who has scored 20 or more points 11 times this season, including her past four in raising her season average to a team-high 18.5 points per game.
It wouldn’t come without having to once again overcome adversity. A brief cushion was provided by Allee, who nailed a three to start the 4th quarter, putting Franklin back up by five. A grand total of nobody in the building believed it would stick.
“We knew the lead wasn’t secure,” admitted Wild. “They’re awfully talented. The (Truschel) twins, Osgood are great players, some of the best players in middle Tennessee.”
Osgood and Emily were responsible for 10 of Brentwood’s 12 4th quarter points. However, it was a pair of offensive rebounds by sophomore Sophie Roston which led to a 5-point swing and Brentwood’s first lead of the night.
“We had our backs against the wall, there was a sense of desperation,” Thrash said of the Lady Bruins’ late surge. “We needed it, and just started clawing our way back into it.”
The Lady Rebels would respond in kind. Doran would eventually foul out of the game, but not before scoring on a backdoor cut courtesy of a perfectly placed pass by perhaps the second-best pass of the night to come from point guard Jilian King.
The senior playmaker would save her best for last.
Ryan and Osgood both converted on separate trips to the foul line to leave the game tied at 53-53. Franklin managed to break Brentwood’s full-court press with just enough time to set up one more play.
It didn’t quite go as designed but somehow worked out in the end.
“We drew up a play, Sydney was supposed to set me a ball screen. Only, Bergen was in the wrong spot,” King would later confess. “Everyone was supposed to be on the other side of the court, isolating me and Sydney. Bergen just stood there, so I just tried to make something happen.
“I tried to drive to the basket myself, but the lane was closed off. I caught Bergen out of the corner of my eye so I kicked it out. Once I saw her set up, I was like ‘OK, that’s game.'”
Her target had the same feeling, even on a night when she struggled to find her range.
Allee’s three initially played out as a buzzer-beater, only for an additional 1.2 seconds to go back on the clock. Brentwood ran one last play, only for an outlet pass to sail out of bounds.
“I knew had a shot well in the past. I hit six threes in my last game so I remained confident my shot would fall,” said Allee in coming through with the game winner. “It was a lot of pressure but I knew I had to make it. Jilian found me in the corner and I just said to myself “I got this.” And I had it.”
The Lady Rebels (11-9/5-4 D11-AAA) return to their Franklin High School home court, where they will host the Ravenwood Lady Raptors on Friday. Franklin withstood a late Lady Raptors rally to prevail in a 43-41 road victory in their first meeting in December.
The Lady Bruins (12-5/6-3 D11-AAA) remain home for a Friday showdown with top-ranked Dickson County. Brentwood handed the Lady Cougars their lone district loss this season in a 55-44 road win in December.