11th Region girls' basketball: Lafayette, Franklin County advance to semifinals

mmaloney@herald-leader.comFebruary 28, 2013 

  • SATURDAY'S SEMIFINALS

    At EKU

    1:30 p.m. — Madison Central (27-4) vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar (17-11)

    3:15 p.m. — Lafayette (20-12) vs. Franklin County (23-10)

    Tuesday's finals

    7:30 p.m. — Semifinal winners

Franklin County took its best shot Thursday night and knocked off Bryan Station 56-51 in the first round of the girls' 11th Region Basketball Tournament.

The Flyers converted 51.4 percent from the floor (18-35), while holding Bryan Station to 29.9 percent (20-for-67) in Eastern Kentucky University's McBrayer Arena.

No. 21 Lafayette crushed Madison Southern 71-28 in Thursday's opener.

Franklin County and Lafayette advance to Saturday's 3:15 p.m. semifinal. That will come after Madison Central faces Dunbar at 1:30.

"Just grit," Coach Joey Thacker said carried his Flyers to victory. "Our kids are young and we're not real polished by any means. But we competed real hard and we've played a really good schedule. That's kind of, this time of year, the things that it takes."

Malaka Frank led Franklin (23-10) with 13 points, one more than Nannilena White. Raven Timmons added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Butler-bound Serena Sandusky paced Bryan Station with 14 points. But her shooting — 4-for-21 — signified the kind of night it was for the Defenders.

Station went down despite an 18-7 advantage in points off turnovers, 22-2 on second-chance points and 16-6 in bench points. The Defenders also outrebounded Franklin 43-35 and had 10 turnovers to the Flyers' 18.

They just couldn't shoot straight.

Lakeysha Stennis added 12 points for Station. Deshante Clay grabbed 11 rebounds and had eight points.

Trailing 24-20 at halftime, Bryan Station closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run, fueled by Stennis and Sandusky, to take a 38-35 lead.

Tied at 42, the Defenders got back-to-back baskets by Victoria McCoy to lead by four with 3:48 left.

Then, the roof caved in as Franklin County scored the next 11 points — despite missing eight consecutive free-throw chances.

Dasia Kilbourne, who finished with nine points, started the decisive rally with a three-pointer.

Frank scored in transition. Kilbourne converted a one-and-one and two more free throws. Frank made one free throw and, after eight Flyer misses, one more for a 53-46 lead with 45 seconds left.

The lead was never less than five after that.

Lafayette led wire-to-wire in the opener, scoring more points in the first quarter (30) than Southern would score all night (28).

"They came out focused. But at this point in the season, I told them before, 'You can't look at what the name is on the front of the jersey; you have to have your eye on the prize,'" Lafayette Coach Allison Denton said.

The Lady Generals (20-12) had first-half runs of 13 and 16 points to lead 48-11 at intermission, then coasted with a running clock in the second half.

"I'm really proud of how they stayed focused," Denton said. "They had a different look in their eye tonight than I've ever seen before, and we shot the ball extremely well."

Dee Givens, doing most of her damage on runouts, went 8-for-9 from the field and totaled 18 points and three steals for the winners.

"She's our spark," Denton said. "We were talking about pushing the ball tonight. We knew that we'd probably be able to get some easier rebounds, and we need to get rid of them quickly. And she did her job tonight."

With Givens leading the way, Lafayette shot 31-for-57 (54.4 percent) to the Eagles' 10-for-44 (22.7).

Sarah Cooley backed Givens with 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

"Sarah always does a good job," Denton said. "She's a sound player, rebounds, scores. She's a force on the court."

Kiara Pankins came off the bench to sink three three-pointers and score 13 points. Ken'yale Demus scored 11.

Madison Southern (12-20) got seven points each from Briana Lanham and Hayden Westfall, who combined for 11 rebounds.

The Eagles did not record an assist and had only one steal, committing 19 turnovers to Lafayette's 10.

The Generals led by as many as 47 in the late stages.

LAFAYETTE 71, MADISON SOUTHERN 28

MADISON SOUTHERN (12-20) — Parms 6, Freeman 4, Lanham 7, Westfall 7, Smith 4. Totals 10-44 6-10 28.

LAFAYETTE (20-12) — Givens 18, K.Demus 11, Nagahiro 2, Cooley 14, Thomas 5, S.Demus 4, Pankins 13, McDowell 2, I.Conwell 2. Totals 31-57 3-6 71.

Madison Southern 7 4 8 9—28

Lafayette 30 18 15 8—71

Three-point goals — MS 2-16, L 6-11.

FRANKLIN CO. 56, BRYAN STATION 51

FRANKLIN CO. (23-10) — Frank 13, Timmons 10, Wickman 6, White 12, Kilbourne 9, Cook 6. Totals 18-35 18-32 56.

BRYAN STATION (18-11) — McCoy 8, Clay 8, Crumbie 3, Sandusky 14, Frazier 2, Stennis 12, Elery 4. Totals 20-67 11-24 51.

Franklin County 12 12 11 21—56

Bryan Station 7 13 18 13—51

Three-point goals — FC 2-9, BS 0-8.


SATURDAY'S SEMIFINALS

At EKU

1:30 p.m. — Madison Central (27-4) vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar (17-11)

3:15 p.m. — Lafayette (20-12) vs. Franklin County (23-10)

TUESDAY'S FINALS

7:30 p.m. — Semifinal winners

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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