A positive attitude and Patrick Ball's 22 points and nine rebounds helped the 10th-ranked Quakers beat the No. 5 Panthers.
The Franklin Quakers didn’t make any major changes to their scheme or rotation. But coach Jason Kerr said the boys basketball team that played Seattle Prep on Tuesday was, in fact, a different group than before.
And the biggest change was a simple adjustment in attitude. Or, as Kerr put it, “a much different, positive approach to everything.”
The shift paid off in a big way as No. 10 Franklin knocked off No. 5 Seattle Prep 67-62 on Senior Night.
“It’s a definite change from an outsider’s perspective,” Kerr said. “We’re kind of working with a new team and a new mentality. We kind of scratched everything and started over, and we’re all driving toward the same thing. I think a lot of that is the difference right now.
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“This was a good steppingstone for them to get out and solidify their new start.”
Senior Patrick Ball led the charge, scoring 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds in leading Franklin (14-5, 11-3 Metro League) to a lead as large as 17 in the third quarter. But it was two of Franklin’s less heralded players that made some of the biggest plays late.
After Seattle Prep (15-4, 12-3) freshman Sean Gummersall completed a three-point play that tied the score at 53 midway through the fourth quarter, Franklin’s own freshman, Keith Smith, answered. Smith buried a three-pointer, then followed with another bucket.
They were five of Smith’s seven points.
“That’s pretty big for a ninth-grader in what’s probably the biggest game of the season so far,” Kerr said.
Later in the quarter, with Franklin holding a three-point lead, junior Eugene Artison blocked a potential tying three-pointer in the corner with about seven seconds left. Artison finished with four blocks, including three in the fourth quarter.
“That was humongous,” Kerr said.
It all helped Franklin hold off Seattle Prep’s rally. The Panthers were led by Laurence Hicks, who had 18 points and eight rebounds. Gummersall finished with 17 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
“In the first half, Franklin played at their tempo, at their speed and at their kind of controlled chaos,’ Seattle Prep coach Mike Kelly said. “In the second half, we got control a little bit of the tempo.”
Seattle Prep’s D.J. Fenner, the second-leading scorer in the area, had 17 points and nine rebounds, but Franklin held him to 6-of-22 shooting.
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org