GREENWOOD — Franklin tipped, deflected and corralled its way to a sectional quarterfinal victory Tuesday.
With 11 steals on 18 New Palestine turnovers, Franklin held off the Dragons 47-44 to advance to the Class 4A Sectional 9 semifinals vs. Greenwood.
A pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers by senior Keegan Lytle and another from junior Ryan Curry kept New Palestine (10-11) in the sectional opener until the final minute. Ultimately, though, Franklin’s zone defense was the difference.
“I know it’s a cliché to say that younger kids can’t duplicate (an opponent) in practice,” said NP coach Adam Barton, who faced Jerry Bomholt’s Franklin club for the second time in three weeks. “Well, Franklin’s 1-2-2 (defense) … our kids have been standing in a 1-2-2 for a week and a half. That guy has coached it for 700 games and he has long, 6-foot-3 athletes in it.
“It took us a while to figure out some options, because what I came up with offensively didn’t quite look the same against their defense as it did against our JV.”