High School Basketball

Suffocating second half pushes Franklin County girls past Henry Clay in 11th Region tournament

Franklin County's Rebecca Cook shoots against Bryan Station at Bryan Station in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, December 13, 2016.
Franklin County's Rebecca Cook shoots against Bryan Station at Bryan Station in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

Franklin County held Henry Clay to just nine points in the second half of a 57-34 victory in the first round of the girls’ 11th Region tournament Tuesday night at McBrayer Arena.

Rebecca Cook led the Flyers with 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting. The senior had eight rebounds, four blocks and three steals while playing only 20 minutes. She rode the bench the entire second quarter after picking up her second foul with 32 seconds left in the opening frame.

It took a few minutes before the Flyers felt Cook’s absence. Franklin County upped its lead to as much as 13 points midway through the second quarter. Henry Clay outscored the Flyers 15-5 over the final stretch. Alexis Lutz had seven of the Blue Devils’ final nine points in the half to pull them within 28-25.

““I told ’em at halftime, you’re not gonna come down here and do what you’ve done the last two years without a dogfight. And tonight was an example of that,” Flyers Coach Joey Thacker said. “ … You have to beat the teams in Lexington if you’re Franklin County. If you’re gonna do anything, it’s gotta start there, it can’t start in Frankfort. And we’ve been fortunate enough so far to be able to do that.”

Cook and fellow senior Princess Stewart, who’s signed with Xavier University, “were both phenomenal at getting to the rim when we needed them to,” in the second half, Thacker said.

Having to watch as her team got out of its flow in the second quarter was frustrating, Cook said.

“A lot of the sets that we run, I’m involved in a lot of those so it affected personnel and made it harder for us to get set up in our plays,” Cook said. “And I feel like we just got in a rut on defense a little bit.”

Lutz finished with 15 points to lead Henry Clay, whose season Franklin County has ended three years in a row. Cook opined on the series, in which Franklin County has taken eight straight games dating back to 2009.

“Coach Thacker said after the draw that their coach said, ‘Well that’s who we wanted,’” Cook said. “So we said, ‘Well that’s who we wanted too.’”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

Franklin County 57, Henry Clay 34

Henry Clay (15-16) — Jones 4, Lutz 15, Jackson 6, Price 7, Long 2.

Franklin Co. (28-5) — Cook 17, Talley 4, Stewart 15, Miles 9, Courtney 7, Hogan 2, Jordan 3.

Henry Clay

10

15

6

3

34

Franklin Co.

13

15

16

13

57

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