By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by KINDELL BUCHANAN
Franklin already has the home-court advantage for the District 11-AAA tournament,
Now, the Lady Rebels are one win away from becoming the top seed as well.
Franklin, ranked 10th in Class AAA, took a big step toward winning the regular-season title with a 44-33 win over No. 10 Dickson County on Friday night.
“Oh, yeah, it’s a huge win,” Franklin guard Holly Harris said. “I mean, we had some unfinished business. We lost over there by four points. We shot 17 percent over there as a team, so it really shouldn’t have happened.”
Franklin (23-2, 13-2 District 11-AAA) shot 33 percent from the floor this time, good enough for the win.
If the Lady Rebels beat last-place Spring Hill (1-22) on Tuesday night, they will win the district championship.
“We’ve just got to take care of business,” Franklin coach John Wild said. “We just do what we do and keep our foot on the pedal and stay focused.”
Franklin suffered through a 9-of-54 shooting night against the Lady Cougars (23-3, 12-3) during a 28-24 loss on Jan. 9, but have won eight straight since then.
Harris, an Alabama-Huntsville signee, led the Lady Rebels with 23 points and five assists. Abby Unger added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Harris, Unger and the other five seniors have played for three coaches at Franklin, including Darrel Barnwell and Kari Goodwin.
“I would say that with each coach we picked up a different skill asset,” Unger said. “Each coach kind of was building us, starting freshman year with Kari Goodwin and moving on with Barnwell. Obviously, we have a huge senior class and we’ve all been together for this long.”
Kailey Rosenbaum, a 6-foot-1 Lipscomb signee, led the Lady Cougars with 11 points.
Ryann Roberts added 10 for Dickson, which shot 28.6 percent from the field.
“I felt like we got the looks we wanted, but we just didn’t execute and score,” Dickson coach Catie Embrey said. “I feel like we didn’t get the calls we would like with (Kailey) getting to the free throw line. (Franklin) did a good job doubling away from the ball on Kailey. They made it hard for our guards to have the entry pass that they like to see.”
Franklin’s defense is holding opponents to an average of 24.6 points in the last 15 games.
“Something we really stressed the last couple of days was our best post defense could be disrupting their guards, because when (Dickson) has got easy feeds and they have a chance to think about feeding the ball to Kailey, they’re really good,” Wild said. “We wanted to try to get out on them and get into them a little bit to disrupt some easiness they had with the ball and feeding her. And I think, for the most part, we did a good job of that.”
Franklin broke an 8-all tie midway through the first quarter with a 14-4 run and held a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
The regular season ends Tuesday before the district tournament starts Thursday.
Dickson County hosts Summit on Tuesday.
Franklin visits Spring Hill on Tuesday.