The Franklin girls basketball team did its best to hold down Franklin Central star Madison Potts, holding her to just a free throw through the first five minutes of Wednesday’s showdown.
But the 6-foot-1 Potts wasn’t to be denied, finding her rhythm and finishing with 17 points to lead the host Flashes to the 54-30 win and handing Franklin its first loss of the season.
Franklin’s goal of fronting Potts and denying her good looks worked for a while, but the All-Star candidate did what All-Star candidates do and found a way to get the ball in the basket.
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“Right now, physically and mentally, we’ve got to be tougher,” Franklin coach Josh Sabol. “I think their size really bothered us, but that’s not an excuse. We’ve got to be mentally and physically tougher, on the boards and also taking care of the basketball.
“I think if you look at the stats, the story of the game was that they got a million offensive rebounds and we turned the ball over. When you do those things, it’s more about mental and physical toughness, and we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Franklin (2-1) led 5-1 early thanks to baskets by Abigail DeArmitt and Alex Bedard. Potts got her first bucket at the 2:59 mark of of the first quarter, kicking off an 11-0 Franklin Central run that carried into the second.
Unable to keep pace, the Grizzly Cubs quickly fell further and further behind. The Flashes (1-1) led by double digits briefly in the second quarter before back-to-back buckets by Hailee Robbins and Bayleigh Torrance pulled Franklin within 21-13 at the half.
Another 11-0 run did in the Grizzly Cubs, building the Flashes’ lead to 39-19 after three quarters. Franklin Central was up by as many as 27 in the fourth before settling in for the 24-point win.
Franklin finished the game with 20 turnovers, many of which were unforced. After committing five turnovers in the first five minutes, Franklin Central had just seven the rest of the way.
“It’s just little things like passing and catching, the fundamentals that you work on every single day in practice,” Sabol said of the turnovers. “We were very, very sloppy tonight. But we’ll clean it up and we’ll be ready moving forward.”
Potts was the only player on either team to reach double figures in scoring. Torrance scored seven points to lead Franklin, while Maya Elliott and freshman Liv Parramore scored five each.
Franklin returns home for another tough test Friday against Class 3A No. 3 Greensburg.