STORY BY CHIP CIRILLO | PHOTO BY DEB SCALLY
DICKSON – Reese Glover’s older brothers, Reed and Ryan, were on the team the last time Franklin won the District 11-AAA Tournament back in 2007.
Glover, the regular season and tournament MVP, helped the Rebels end a 12-year wait as Franklin won the league championship with a 74-65 victory over Brentwood at Dickson County on Tuesday night.
“It’s awesome,” Glover said. “And now, hopefully, it’s on to state. That’s our main goal.”
The Rebels (24-6) will need at least three more wins to do that.
Their journey continues in a Region 6-AAA quarterfinal against McGavock on Saturday at Brentwood. The Bruins (23-7) face Cane Ridge on Saturday.
Reed Kemp led Franklin with 19 points, including 11 of 14 from the foul line, five steals and four assists.
“We’re not satisfied, though,” Kemp said. “We’ve still got a lot more to do, but we’re going to enjoy this one.”
Glover added 17 points for the Rebels, who had four starters in double figures. Matt Thurman, a 6-foot-7 center, scored 13 and 6-4, 230-pound Asharri Haynesworth had 11.
“The thing that’s so neat, no matter what happens, we win the regular season and the tournament,” Rebels coach Darrin Joines said. “That’s hard to do.”
Franklin seized a 17-4 lead early in the second quarter. Brentwood came out cold, missing 11 of its first 13 shots.
Things got wild in the fourth quarter when the rivals combined for 70 points.
The Bruins fell behind by 20 early in the fourth quarter before rallying to within seven twice during the final 2:14.
Franklin won for the 14th time in 15 games. The Rebels have won all three games against the Bruins this season.
Brentwood boasts one of the toughest defenses in the Midstate, but Franklin has scored in the 70s twice against the Bruins.
“I think our size helps against them,” Joines said. “We can score a little bit inside. And then, obviously, they’ve got to honor Reese and Jordan (Bruce) on the perimeter.”
John Windley led the Bruins with 20 points, Cole Massey added 14, 6-6 Harry Lackey had 12 and 6-7 Ben Mills, a WillCo Basketball Player of the Year finalist, had 10.
Brentwood lost leading scorer Jack Thurman four games ago due to an undisclosed reason.
Franklin hit 29 of 39 foul shots and Brentwood mad 16 of 17.
“I’m disappointed, obviously, but we showed great character and integrity to keep fighting,” Bruins coach Greg Shirley said. “If we could have had a few more steps in that (fourth-quarter) run, who knows? Give credit to Franklin. They’ve got a lot of weapons.”