STORY BY JAKE DONOVAN | PHOTOS BY DEB SCALLY
The Franklin Lady Rebels fended off a late rally to outlast the Ravenwood Lady Raptors in a 43-41 road win in District 11-AAA play Tuesday at Ravenwood High School.
Katie O’Neill led the visiting Lady Raptors with 13 points. Bergen Alee added 12—all on three pointers, including a clutch triple in the fourth quarter to disrupt a Raptors 10-2 rally after trailing by as much as nine points in the second half.
Junior guard Jaz Harmon had a team-high 14 points for the Lady Raptors, who managed to pull within one point early in the fourth after being shutout for the first seven minutes of the second half.
“Effort-wise, we’re there every game, but we just have to learn to play smarter all four quarters,” Lady Raptors head coach Mariska Harris told Home Page. “We’re a very young team, and very inexperienced and lacking depth due to injuries. That will come as we continue to progress.”
The Lady Raptors couldn’t have asked for a better start, dropping 16 points in the first quarter and managing to contain red-hot freshman Sydney Ryan (4 points) all night.
“Sydney just went off for 30 on (Hillsboro) the other night, so to keep the ball out of her hands and also slowing down (senior point guard) Jillian (King) was big for us,” noted Harmon, who scored six 1st quarter points. “The one we couldn’t stop tonight was Bergen, it seemed like everyone we would get a run she’d respond with a three.”
None were bigger than when Alee came off the bench in the 4th quarter with marching orders to find the bottom of the net the moment she found an opening. By that point, the Lady Raptors had erased a nine-point deficit, scoring seven straight spanning the end of the 3rd quarter and the start of the 4th after having missed nine consecutive shots to open the second half.
Senior forward Darcy Doran followed Alee’s three with a layup and a pair of free throws to help put the Lady Rebels up by eight before fouling out late in the game. The Lady Raptors managed one last rally, but ultimately ran out of time.
“It just came down to they’re being more experienced and prepared for the full game,” conceded Harris. “We had a lot of big moments, but you can’t afford to take off even a single possession against a team like Franklin. It will cost you.”
The Lady Rebels (5-3/1-1) have now won five in a row versus Ravenwood and are 26-13 all-time versus their crosstown rivals. Tuesday’s win was a significant bounce back from Friday’s loss to Brentwood in their district season opener loss, as Franklin heads home for yet another district matchup in hosting the Page Lady Patriots on Friday.
The Lady Raptors (4-2/1-1) also return to the court on Friday, hosting Dickson County Lady Cougars in district play.