Franklin County girls, boys fall to Yazoo County in MHSAA Class 3A second round

Published 7:32 pm Monday, February 24, 2020

MEADVILLE — Franklin County High School’s varsity girls’ and varsity boys’ basketball teams had a tough Friday night at home against Yazoo County High School last Friday night in the second round of the 2020 MHSAA Class 3A State Tournament.

In the varsity girls’ game, the Region 7-3A champion and No. 1 seed Franklin County Lady Bulldogs were upset by a Region 6-3A No. 2 seed Yazoo County Lady Panthers team that entered this match-up a game under .500 overall, 56-52.

Lady Bulldogs head coach Ricky O’Quinn said his team controlled the pace of the game for over three quarters, but they could not put Yazoo County away when they had the chance. He also said that the Lady Panthers had some good offensive players.

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“We had a bad minute and a half to finish the game. We had a six-point lead with about 1:30 to go. We missed some easy scoring opportunities, missed some free throws. We didn’t defend them well,” O’Quinn said. “Down the stretch, we had some bad plays. They made some tough shots. Some contested shots. We led as much as 12 in the game. When we have the lead, we finish the game. Every time we stretched the lead, they came back. They were resilient.”

The Lady Panthers improved to 15-15 overall and advanced to the Class 3A girls’ state quarterfinals at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, where they will take on Region 8-3A No. 2 seed Tylertown High School Thursday at 4 p.m. The Lady Chiefs pulled off an upset of their own on the road last Friday night, defeating the Region 5-3A champion and No. 1 seed Southeast Lauderdale High School Lady Tigers 47-42.

The Lady Bulldogs ended their season with an overall record of 19-8.

Then in the varsity boys’ game, the surprising Region 7-3A champion and No. 1 seed Bulldogs were upended by a good Region 6-3A No. 2 seed Yazoo County Panthers team 67-55.

“The game was closer than it was. It was a free-throw discrepancy. They had 35 free throws and we had 12. They made 25 of them. That’s hard to overcome,” O’Quinn said.

One reason for the big gap in free-throw attempts was that Franklin County was in foul trouble for much of the game. One of the Bulldogs’ players was ejected and two other players had four fouls. Despite all of that, they still had a chance to pull off the win late in the game. The problem was they couldn’t get their shots to fall.

“We were tied at halftime. We were down five going into the fourth quarter. It was six with about three minutes left,” O’Quinn said. “We missed some easy shots. We didn’t capitalize on easy scoring opportunities.”

The Panthers are now 19-11 overall and will take on Region 6-3A No. 3 seed St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in the boys’ quarterfinals Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. The Saints routed the Region 5-3A champion and No. 1 seed Southeast Lauderdale High School Tigers 65-45 last Friday night on the road.

The Bulldogs finished their season with an overall record of 13-14.