Franklin Lady Rebels get first season's win against Columbia Central

By Jake Donovan 

The Franklin Lady Rebels left Tuesday’s season-launching road game versus East Nashville of the belief that a formidable team lies ahead, as long as they turned that loss into a learning lesson.

Proof came in the form of a 58-41 win over visiting Columbia Central in their home opener Thursday evening at Franklin High School.

Sophomore point guard Sydney Ryan and junior post Kate O’Neil attributed for all but 13 of Franklin points, going off for 23 and 22, respectively. O’Neil contributed her first double-double of the season, adding 10 points on the night and her low post presence providing more scoring opportunities for her teammates.

“Once Kate and I get going, we’re a tough team to stop,” Ryan told Home Page following Thursday’s victory. “Coach (Jay) Johnson kept telling us all night, play inside-out. We worked the ball down low to Kate and she was able to score when she wanted, and kick it out to the shooters when they finally collapsed on her.

“It opened up the offense for the rest of us and (the Lady Lions) couldn’t figure out how to defend it.”

The dynamic duo of Ryan and O’Neil—viewed as the leaders on a young Lady Rebels squad lacking any seniors—were held scoreless in the first quarter of Tuesday’s loss to East Nashville, but both found the hot hand early against the Lady Lions. Ryan scored the first three points of the game, before O’Neil disrupted a 3-3 tie with six unanswered points.

Franklin led 17-8 after one quarter and never trailed at any point on the night, while also reducing its turnovers by 33 percent. The 20 turnovers committed on Thursday are still too much for any coach to bear, but still much better than their turning over the ball 30 times on Tuesday.

Columbia Central made things interesting coming out of the locker room to start the second half.

“We played great as a time,” notes Ryan. “We had that one little blip where (Columbia) nearly got back into the game. But we remained composed, were able to maintain the lead and finish the game strong.”

A 10-0 run by the Lady Lions cut the 21-point halftime lead nearly in half by the midway point of the third quarter. Franklin recovered quickly, Ryan and sophomore guard Bergen Allee (4 points, 6 assists) swapping time at the point guard slot.

“I’m getting more comfortable in the new role they’ve asked me to play,” notes Ryan, who played shooting guard for most of her freshman year, in which she drained 97 three-pointers. “Still, it felt good trading off with Bergen and getting back to my old position.”

Ryan was held in check behind the arc, converting on just 2/7 from long range. But the low post presence of O’Neil allowed the sophomore scoring machine to drive more often than has become the case in recent years.

All in all, it led to a balanced attack for Franklin’s first win under the Jay Johnson coaching era.

“It felt really good to get that first win,” stated Ryan. “We got to kick them when they were down. That’s what good teams do, close the show. We just had that one little slip, but otherwise won through a full team effort.

Next up for the Lady Rebels is a second straight home game and third straight non-conference matchup as the host the Antioch Lady Bears.

“We are looking forward to going 2-1 heading into the Thanksgiving break,” guarantees Ryan. 

Franklin boys get first win for new coach Jason Tigert 

By Jake Donovan 

This was the start to the season the Franklin Rebels sought.

Two days after a tough road loss to kick off the 2019-season, the Rebels prevailed in a 63-43 win over visiting Columbia Central in their home opener Thursday evening at Franklin High School.

Junior floor general Reed Kemp led all scorers with 16 points, with nine different Rebels scoring at least two points on the night. Junior post Matt Thurman added 10 points, while Aidan Smylie had 14 on the night.

Ahqzeea Martin had 13 to pace the visiting Lions, all of which came in the second half and with 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Similar to Tuesday’s loss to the East Nashville Eagles, the Rebels jumped out to a strong start. A pair of free throws by De’Quavious Mitchell (5 points) gave the Lions their only lead of the night—2-0—which was followed by 15-0 run by Franklin. Kemp set the tone early, rattling off 11 points in a four minute clip to give the Rebels a 15-2 lead which they would never relinquish.

Trailing 33-20 at halftime, the Lions came out roaring to start the third quarter. A 6-0 run by the visiting team cut the lead to seven two minutes into the second half, prompting an early Franklin timeout. The pow wow took, with the Rebels going on an 8-0 run to extend its lead to 15 heading into the final eight minutes of regulation.

Columbia Central would pull within six thanks a 12-3 run to begin the fourth quarter, with Martin getting the hot hand and Omari Franklin contributing with his first of two three pointers on the night. It was nearly déjà vu for the Rebels, who watched a double digit lead dissolve in the fourth quarter of Tuesdays 75-67 loss to East Nashville.

This time around, the Rebels were able to find its second wind at the perfect time. A 12-2 run—largely led by Thurman and Smylie—put the Rebels ahead by 16 and the game ultimately out of reach.

As the clock hit 0:00, Franklin left the court with its first win of the 2019-20 season. The Rebels (1-1) return home on Tuesday for a non-conference game versus the Antioch Bears. Following the Thanksgiving break, the Rebels will hit the road for back-to-back games, versus Hillsboro and—in its first conference game of 2019—an away game with longtime rival Brentwood. 

Independence boys get county win over Fairview 

The Indy boys got a 59-49 win against Fairview Thursday night. 

Hrishi Salitri led the team with 17. 

Starter Matthew St. Charles scored four in the contest before exiting the game in the third quarter with injury. 

Locke Hord had 20 for Fairview. 

The Indy girls also won 48-46 against the Lady Yellowjackets. 

Brentwood Academy girls victorious over FRA, BA boys edge Lighthouse Christian

Maggie Brown (12), Jaila Lee (11), Caroline Clemmer (11) and Audrey Blankenship (10) all scored in double-digits to get the Lady Eagles ahead of the Lady Panthers in early season play, 72-30. 

The BA boys won against Lighthouse Christian, 66-63. 

Clay Holmes had 20 in the game, and Adam Wass had 14. 

Other Scores: 

Brentwood girls 84, Clarksville 69

Brentwood boys 54, Clarksville 39

MBA 51, Ravenwood boys 49

CPA girls W, NCC 

Dickson Co. 56, Nolensville boys 36

Dickson Co. 56, Nolensville girls 43

Nashville Christian 52, Grace Christian Academy girls 37

Nashville Christian 72, GCA boys 62 (Mason McKnatt scored 40) 

Currey Ingram 43, South Haven 27 

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