Amite uses 3-pointers to rally by Wilkinson County

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

WOODVILLE &045; Lakendrick Franklin went wild in the fourth quarter.

Franklin, a guard for Amite County, hit four threes in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his team-leading 14 points in the final period to help lead the Trojans to a 54-47 win over Wilkinson County Tuesday night in Region 7-3A action.

&uot;(Franklin) was cold to start the game, but I told him he had the green light. If he had a shot, he should take it,&uot; Amite County head coach Albert McKnight said.

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Franklin did just that. After failing to score in the first half, he led his team on a 15-8 run in the fourth quarter that won the game for the Trojans, hitting shots from behind the arc with ease.

On his final basket, which gave Amite County a 50-45 lead with less than a minute to go, he turned to run back up the floor on defense without even bothering to see if his shot went in.

&uot;I just wasn’t feeling it in the first half,&uot; Franklin said. &uot;We started moving the ball more in the second, and I felt better.&uot;

Amite County trailed 34-30 at the end of the third quarter but rallied to outscore the Wildcats 26-13 in the final period and take the win.

The Trojans came out firing after halftime, starting a run that would ultimately win the game for them. Amite County outscored Wilkinson 42-23 in the second half.

Wilkinson’s Corey Anthony came off the bench and almost kept the Wildcats in the lead by himself.

Anthony scored nine of his 11 points in the final period, including two free-throws, a putback layup and a three-pointer that prevented the Trojans from opening up a big lead late. But Franklin’s final basket gave the Trojans a five-point lead with less than a minute remaining, sealing the win.

Crucial to the Trojans’ success was the inside play of Carl White and Lee Robinson, who provided 23 points and more importantly some big offensive rebounds and putbacks that kept Amite in the game until Franklin went on his fourth-quarter spree.

The first half was all Wildcats, though neither team came out looking strong on offense.

Both squads were jacking up shots from behind the arc and missing most of them. Wilkinson’s Gemall Andrews was a bright spot, scoring nine of his 14 points in the game in the first half on 3-point shots.

The Wildcat’s Bryan Dent provided the highlight of the first half, finishing a fast-break chance with a thunderous dunk despite being fouled that brought most of the crowd to its feet in appreciation.

Wilkinson took a 24-12 lead into halftime.

&uot;We just didn’t play very well in the first half,&uot; McKnight said. &uot;We came back hard in the second half. Out guys who usually shoot threes hit them in the second half. We also adjusted the defense and committed fewer fouls.&uot;

That reduction in fouls was important. Amite County made seven free-throws in the second half; Wilkinson County made just three.

The Wildcats will host Jefferson County Friday night.