High School Basketball

Franklin County girls finish with 20-0 run to beat Lafayette

At last, Dasia Kilbourne and her Franklin County teammates can sleep soundly.

The Flyers closed with a 20-0 knockout punch Tuesday night to upend host Lafayette 66-61.

"We just kept going. It was really nerve-wracking," said Kilbourne, who scored 14 points to tie Anna Arrastia for team honors. "We've never lost to them until the past two years, and it's hard to sleep at night when you think about it. Last year's regional tournament, it was very tough. So we had to come out hard in this game."

Franklin County (3-0), No. 7 in the Herald-Leader's preseason coaches' poll, was playing short-handed. Rebecca Cook, a starter, injured her right ankle during a preseason practice and is on crutches.

"Just resilience," was the difference down the stretch, according to Coach Joey Thacker. "These kids have always won, especially in pretty good environments, since being 10, 11 years old. Being a man down and being in a situation where we really had our backs against the wall, I thought we played the way we have to play. And we've just got to fight and scrap, and that's what got us back in the game.

"We had several big three-point shots by some people that really stepped up in Rebecca's absence. ... We're in a situation where we've got to turn people over to get some offense, and we finally hit that little run when we were down there."

In addition to Kilbourne and Arrastia with 14 points each, Franklin County got 11 off the bench by Kindall Talley. Malaka Frank had eight points and six rebounds, while Princess Stewart had seven and six.

No. 3 Lafayette (1-2) got 23 points and 12 rebounds out of 6-foot-4 senior Ashanti Thomas before she fouled out with 1:15 left. Dee Givens scored 18 and Kiarra Pankins had 11.

A bucket by Aisha Conwell gave Lafayette a 61-46 lead with about 3½ minutes left.

The Flyers cranked up the heat on their full-court trap and took care of business.

"We do some weird stuff defensively, and we do it because of our personnel," Thacker said. "There's certain things we'll take away on certain possessions, and there's certain things we won't take away. And then we'll flip it the next time, and that's hard on a press offense."

Lafayette committed nine of its 25 turnovers in the last three minutes.

"We had a little bit of inexperience," Generals Coach Allison Denton said. "I knew we'd take some lumps. We had people not stepping up when we needed to inbound the ball. That will come later on in the year. We have to have five people that are willing to play and we can't have anybody tuck tail and running when it's time.

"All five that are on the floor have to want the basketball. We can't wait for somebody else to do a job that all of us need to be doing. And that's what happened — we waited for somebody else to go get the ball; we waited for somebody else to break to the ball; waited for somebody else to attack the basket. We wanted to hope we were going to win, and didn't make us win."

Kilbourne had eight straight points during the decisive rally and half of the 20 points overall.

"We have to keep going," she said she thought before the rally got going. "I did not want to go another night having to frigging think about not sleeping. Last night, I got six hours of sleep, keep waking up, thinking about it."

Tuesday night, no doubt, the Flyers all slept well.

Franklin County 66, Lafayette 61

FRANKLIN CO. (3-0)—Frank 8, Kilbourne 14, Arrastia 14, Courtney 8, Newton 2, Talley 11, Stewart 7, Willard 2.

LAFAYETTE (1-2)—Givens 18, L.Winn 1, Pankins 11, Thomas 23, A.Conwell 6, Powell 2.

Franklin County 18 8 14 26—66

Lafayette 20 10 21 10—61

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