One great quarter was enough to beat three good ones on Tuesday evening.

The Edinburgh boys basketball team got the better of Franklin for about 25 minutes in the opening round of the Johnson County Tournament before the Grizzly Cubs came roaring back late, using a 25-4 run in the final period to power its way to a 73-67 triumph.

Franklin (6-4) will face Greenwood in a 6 p.m. semifinal at Center Grove on Friday.

Trailing by a 55-44 count early in the final quarter, the Grizzly Cubs got hot and scored 14 consecutive points, eight of those from Reece Thomson, in less than two minutes to reclaim the lead at 55-53 with 5:30 to go. After the Lancers (8-5) stopped the momentum with a Darius Bennett layup at the 4:17 mark, Franklin got going again, using a Cody Mahler three-point play and a pair of Drew Byerly buckets to make it 69-59 with just over a minute left.

Story continues below gallery

“They were penetrating well, and in the second half we kind of locked up and started guarding them better,” Thomson said, “and that really helped our offense at the end.”

The Lancers made their living going up the middle during the first quarter, piercing the Franklin defense repeatedly for layups on the way to an early 19-11 advantage.

Caught off guard, the Grizzly Cubs responded by scoring 10 straight points and taking the lead on a Blaine Wentzell 3 with 6:50 left in the first half. The two sides traded blows for the rest of the second quarter, with Edinburgh getting the last word on a Coltan Henderson 3-pointer to take a 31-27 lead into the locker room.

After briefly losing the upper hand, the Lancers got hot toward the end of the third, using a 12-0 run to build a 51-41 cushion. They still led by 11 with 7:18 to go in the game before the Grizzly Cubs started going bananas.

“We knew they wanted to speed us up and make it kind of a sloppy game,” Edinburgh coach Keith Witty said. “Through three, we did a good job of handling that pressure, and then in the fourth we kind of lost a little bit of that.”

Wentzell paced Franklin with 20 points, while Byerly added 19 and Thomson had 17. Edinburgh got 17 points from Henderson, 16 from Parker Bryant and 14 points and eight rebounds from Christian Cox.

Franklin coach Brad Dickey was relieved that his team was able to move on.

“We were fortunate to be able to rally at the end and have a few things go our way,” he said, “or we would have been outplayed all the way through.”

Author photo
Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2715.