Franklin girls basketball coach Josh Sabol saw one major positive in his team’s performance Friday night.
The Grizzly Cubs gave visiting Mooresville all it could handle before falling 48-42 in Mid-State Conference action.
“I have nothing but respect for Coach (Mark) Hurt; him and his program speak for itself,” said Sabol, whose team’s record dropped to 7-10 and 2-2 in the Mid-State. “They have been the standard in the Mid-State Conference forever. For us to play the way we did and have a tie game with a minute to go with our young team, I’m very proud.
“Even though we lost at the end, we’ve got to use that fuel the fire in our offseason and the rest of the season. They got what we want. I’m proud of my team, but we’ve got a ways to go.”
The Pioneers (10-7, 3-1) led 27-20 at halftime. Franklin closed the deficit to 37-32 with a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Peyton Wilson just before the third-quarter buzzer.
Franklin tied it twice in the fourth, the second time at 42-all on two free throws by Hailee Robbins with 1:38 left.
Mooresville was able to score the final six points, going ahead for good a three-point play by Lauren Farb with 1:18 to go.
“You got to give Franklin credit,” Hurt said. “I think they outplayed us (Friday night). They played hard. We didn’t execute. We had 19 turnovers. We didn’t shoot very well, missed free throws. We’re very fortunate to get out of here with a win.”
Junior forward Elise Scaggs led the way for the Pioneers with 21 points.
“Elise is really our go-to player and she did a nice job, not only offensively but on the boards as well,” Hurt said.
Mooresville was 11 of 18 from the free throw line while Franklin was just 7 of 15. The Grizzly Cubs had 22 turnovers.
Robbins, a sophomore guard, was the high scorer for the young Grizzly Cubs with 16 points. Franklin has just one senior and one junior.
“We’re playing a lot of sophomores, playing a lot of freshmen,” Sabol said. “All this is going to do is help us learn and grow as the year goes on. We have a special senior in Maya Elliott and I also want the girls to know we still have a lot of games to go and a postseason left. I want to make sure we are playing well for her because she deserves it.”
Sabol said Robbins and Wilson deserve a strong finish as well.
“Those are two of the hardest workers in the program,” Sabol said. “The time they put in the offseason, they deserve all this success because they’ve earned it.”