Franklin County to host South State tourney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 18, 2010

MEADVILLE — In order for the Franklin County Lady Bulldogs to host the MHSAA Class 3A South State tournament, they had to take care of business against Raleigh in the tournament’s opening round game.

Mission accomplished.

Franklin County jumped out to a 17-5 lead after one quarter en route to a 72-53 victory that will allow them to host the South State tournament which begins Friday.

The Lady Bulldogs came out with guns blazing, as the forced several early turnovers thanks to a relentless pressure defense that didn’t allow Raleigh to get any offense going.

“We tried to put pressure on them early, and get some early turnovers,” Franklin County coach Charles Moore said. “We were able to do that.”

Franklin County also got some big contributions from Ventrice Briggs and Jessica Jackson.

Briggs scored 23 points for the Lady Bulldogs while Jackson was right behind with 19.

“We got some good looks inside with Briggs and Jackson,” Moore said. “(Raleigh) got in foul trouble early because of those two girls.”

Franklin County took a 40-19 lead into halftime and was able to withstand some Raleigh pressure in the second half to win going away.

“They made some runs at us in the second half,” Moore said. “But we maintained our poise well.”

Moore said hosting the South State tournament is huge for the Lady Bulldogs in their quest for a state title.

The top three teams in South State advance to the State tournament in Jackson.

“This is the first time we’ve hosted it since I’ve been here,” Moore said. “We don’t have to travel and can sleep in our own beds. Hopefully it will make a huge difference.”

Franklin County will get no breaks in the schedule, however, as they will take on traditional Class 3A powerhouse Southeast Lauderdale in the first round at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

“Southeast Lauderdale is a powerhouse,” Moore said. “Coach (Joe) Miller does a great job with that program. It will be very difficult to win against that type of school.”

Class 1A South State opening round

McAdams 95, Cathedral 18

SALLIS — The Cathedral Lady Wave’s South State opening round game against McAdams was over almost before it started Wednesday night.

The Lady Bulldogs led 38-3 after one quarter and 71-5 at halftime before calling off the dogs in the second half.

Cathedral ends its season with a 12-15 record.

“McAdams is a very strong team,” Cathedral coach Bernita Dunbar said. “They were very good inside and out and they moved the ball very well.”

The Gilmore sisters, Kierra and Dierra, led McAdams with Kierra scoring 33 points and Dierra chipping in 23. Kanesha Phillips also had 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs.

The lone bright spot for Cathedral was the play of Ana Perry, who scored 13 of the Lady Wave’s 18 points.

Despite the loss, Dunbar is excited about the future of the Lady Wave program.

“We’re a very young team, and I look forward to growing come next season,” Dunbar said. “Our future looks very promising.”