By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
Jillian King is back from her ankle injury and that’s good news for Franklin.
In her return from a two-game absence, the junior guard scored a career-high 20 points, including six 3-pointers, to lead the Lady Rebels to a 49-44 comeback win over visiting Ravenwood on Tuesday night.
“Holly (Harris) kept feeding me the ball,” said King, whose sprained right ankle is 80 percent healed. “She just knows when one of us is hot. If she’s hot, I give it to her. We kind of read each other’s minds, I guess.”
Franklin (7-1, 1-1 District 11-AAA) fell behind by 10 points early in the fourth quarter before closing the game with a 15-0 run.
Harris scored two straight baskets to cut the deficit to 44-41 with 2:50 left
Then, King nailed a 3-pointer that tied it at 44 with 2:25 remaining. She followed with another big 3 that gave the Lady Rebels a 47-44 lead 28 seconds later.
Harris, an Alabama-Huntsville signee, scored 16 points, including two foul shots that ended the scoring with 14.7 seconds left.
“I thought for the majority of the game they were a lot tougher than we were and I told our kids that,” Franklin coach John Wild said. “I think when we decided we needed to start playing, our kids showed some toughness. But that’s something we’ve got to have for 32 minutes.”
King and Harris scored all 15 of the Lady Rebels’ fourth-quarter points.
Berkley Byron’s 3-pointer gave Ravenwood (4-3, 1-1) a 44-34 lead early in the fourth, but the Lady Raptors never scored again.
Berkley and Jazmyn Harmon led the Lady Raptors with 14 points each,
“We knew they had great shooters: (Harris) and (King),” Byron said. “They got away from us and we didn’t focus on defense, so we need to know where they are next time. We needed to apply more ball pressure, which we didn’t.”
Franklin is off to its best start since 2003 when the Lady Rebels won 10 of their first 11 en route to a 24-8 season that ended in the Region 6-AAA semifinals.
“I think we’ve got a great senior class that has some experience,” Wild said. “They’ve played in a lot of big games. I think they’re very unselfish kids.
“I think our kids understand their roles for the most part. I don’t think there’s a kid that tries to get outside her box and perform things that she can’t perform. Those are a lot of intangible things that can carry you a long way in a season.”
Wild, who’s in his first year at Franklin, has won three state titles at three different schools (Moore County, Bradford and Riverdale) and over 500 games in 22 seasons.
Franklin began the season with a 52-44 win over East Nashville (4-3), a Class AA semifinalist last year and state champion in 2016.
“Starting with East Nashville really helped us,” King said. “We went into that game saying, ‘If we win this, we are going to be able to go on a roll, because they’re probably one of the best teams we’ve played in a while. And it was away.”
Ravenwood visits Dickson County on Friday.
Franklin visits Page on Friday.