Flyers escape Campbell’s upset bid

March 11, 2016 FieldsColumn

Franklin County's Malaka Frank and Campbell County's Kyle Kramer tipped things off in the quarterfinals. (Photo by JIm Osborn)

Franklin County’s Malaka Frank and Campbell County’s Kyle Kramer tipped things off in the quarterfinals. (Photo by JIm Osborn)

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — It wasn’t anything like early December when Franklin County crushed Campbell County 68-47 in the season opener.

In a rematch in the quarterfinals of the St. Elizabeth HealthCare/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen Friday afternoon, Franklin County narrowly escaped with a 41-38 victory over the Camels in BB&T Arena.

“I don’t care if we win 3-2, as long as we get the last stop,” Franklin County Coach Joey Thacker said.

Campbell County had its chances down the stretch but either missed shots or made turnovers.

Franklin County seventh-grader Brooklynn Miles missed the front end of the bonus with her team up 41-38 with :26 left.

Campbell County couldn’t capitalize, however. Taylor Jolly missed a layup. The Flyers’ Anna Arrastia rebounded and was fouled. She went to the foul line, but she missed the front end of the bonus, too.

The Camels couldn’t take advantage. Taylor Clos was called for a charge with :02.5 left.

Campbell County stole the inbounds pass, but could only get off a desperation heave from past half-court as the buzzer sounded.

“The girls kept fighting, fighting and fighting, and I thought we had a chance at the end, but it didn’t work out,” Camels Coach Beau Menefee said.

Princess Stewart, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, led Franklin County with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Malaka Frank, a 5-9 senior, had 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 4 steals. Arrastia added 9 points on 3-for-3 three-point shooting.

Thacker said his strategy to slow things down and play zone against Campbell County “didn’t speed up our blood flow, so to speak.” And that made it a “grind-it-out game.”

The Flyers did a good job limiting Jolly to 6 points. She had 17 in the Camels’ first-round win over Trimble County.

Mackenzie Schwarber led Campbell County with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Franklin County. Clos had 11 points and 4 assists.

Menefee thought the Camels’ turnovers late in the first half cost them dearly. “If we’d taken better care of ball we’d be sitting here victorious,” he said.

Franklin County advances to the semifinals for the first time since 1980 when it was state runner-up to Butler. The Flyers will play the winner of Holmes-Mercer County.

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