Franklin County boys win playoff opener, host South State

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

MEADVILLE &045; Thanks to the play of guards Jonathan Brooks and Deandrea Cameron, the Franklin County Bulldogs overcame a slow start and the shooting of Greene County’s Johnny Lockhart to defeat the Wildcats 61-46 Tuesday night in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State playoffs.

The way the first quarter went, however, it looked like Greene County ,the No. 3 seed from Division 8, was going to leave the Franklin County gym with a huge upset win.

&uot;We had a rocky start,&uot; Bulldogs head coach Chris Jordan said. &uot;They’ve got the best shooter we’ve seen all season in Johnny Lockhart.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

The Bulldogs’ slow start on both ends of the court help the Wildcats take a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Lockhart had his way in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 24 points.

Franklin County (20-7) then turned its defense up a few notches and made it tough for Lockhart and his teammates to get any shots off.

&uot;We buckled down on defense,&uot; Jordan said.

Indeed they did as Greene County was held to eight points in the second quarter, seven in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth quarter.

While the Wildcats were keeping the Bulldogs’ inside presence of Marcus Tillman and Deandre Davis in check, Brooks and Cameron hit one big shot after another to help get the Bulldogs back in the game.

Brooks led Franklin County with 20 points.

Franklin County outscored Greene County 17-7 in the second quarter to trail by just one point, 27-26, at halftime and took a 39-35 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs put the game away with a 22-11 advantage in the final quarter.

&uot;They took away our inside game. They packed it down on us,&uot; Jordan said. &uot;Brooks and Cameron had a tough game, but they came through. The had six 3s tonight between them.&uot;

Tillman, who averages close to 15 points a game, was held to just four points. Davis, who averages around 13 points a game, scored all seven of his points in the fourth quarter.

&uot;We beat a well-coached team tonight,&uot; Jordan said.

Franklin County will host the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the Class 3A South State Tournament.

The Bulldogs will take on the winner of the Crystal Springs-Newton County game in the opening game of the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Thursday.