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Turnovers downfall of Franklin in defeat

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It took three-and-a-half quarters for the Franklin Community High School girls basketball team to figure out how to break host Perry Meridian’s full-court press Thursday night.

Unfortunately for the Grizzly Cubs, by that time the deficit was too much to overcome.

In all, the Falcons (5-8) forced 33 turnovers in a 67-48 victory against the Cubs (6-9).

“Turnovers have plagued this team all year, and they were obviously a big problem tonight,” Franklin coach Walt Raines said. “We have young guards, and we’re going through some growing pains, but they’ll learn.”

From a swarming press to multiple traps, the Falcons aggressively applied ball pressure throughout the entire game, taking advantage of Franklin’s youth and their own speed.

“When a team traps like that, you have to be poised and patient,” Raines said. “You have to be able to recognize what the other team is giving up in order to trap you.”

Freshman Maci Eads played a solid game for Franklin, scoring a team-high 14 points. But no other Cubs player scored in double figures.

Freshman Morgan Hash and senior Kylie Whittington led the team in rebounding with six and five, respectively.

“Eads fought hard and played a good game for us, and Hash did a nice job, particularly in the second half,” Raines said.

But the Cubs continued to struggle while on offense, as they have in each of what is now three consecutive losses. In fact, during that span, Franklin has scored 27, 31 and 48 points, respectively.

“We asked the kids to play hard tonight, and they did. I’m proud of them,” Raines said. “But we have to learn how to play smart.

“Right now, it’s the mental things that are really hurting us.”

Franklin hit 8 of its 17 shot attempts in the first half but committed 20 turnovers. Following an 11-0 Perry Meridian run in the game’s second quarter, the Falcons carried a 31-20 advantage into halftime.

Sophomore Amanda Annee led all scorers with 20 points while connecting on 8 of 9 shot attempts. Senior Aspen Lovejoy added 10 points for a Perry Meridian team that ended a two-game losing streak to the Grizzly Cubs.

“Right now, we’re taking some lumps but we’re getting better,” Raines said. “We’ll learn and improve each game and will be much better off later on because of it.”

Class 4A Franklin will host Class 4A No. 1 Columbus North at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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