Emphasis on defense helps Cubs earn win



In an effort to tighten up a loose defense, Franklin girls basketball coach Walt Raines has made that area a point of emphasis.

The Grizzly Cubs apparently got the message. They had no trouble Thursday night at Bloomington North, breezing to a 73-21 win.

Franklin pulled away early by holding the Cougars without a basket for six minutes in the first half and no points overall in the third quarter.

“That’s what we wanted to tell the kids. To show that we could play some good, solid defense, and I think we accomplished that,” Raines said. “The kids talked to each other on the court, and I was more proud of the way they played in the second half than the first on defense and offense.”

As good as the defense was, Franklin’s offense was in tune, as well, as the Cubs’ score was a season high. It also was the first time they’ve reached 70.

Senior Maci Eads led all scorers with 19 points. Sophomore Maya Elliott added 12 points. Junior Delanie Hill scored 10 points off the bench for the Cubs (5-5), who are a three-game winning streak.

The Cougars fell to 1-11.

Defensively, the win marked the third time Franklin has held an opponent to less than 40 points this season. The Cubs forced 31 turnovers. Franklin led 39-13 and was never seriously challenged throughout. Raines substituted liberally in the second half.

“They played within themselves,” Raines said. “They looked for each other and communicated and took care of the ball. Just a great team effort.”

Next up: No. 8 Class 4A Plainfield (10-0) on Saturday.

“We wanted to come out and build for Saturday,” Raines said. “We have to play intelligent basketball and go toe-to-toe with them.”

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Ken Severson is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.