Franklin escapes Lady Panthers with 51-49 win
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 28, 2021 9:15 PM

A 13-point lead slipped away from the Russellville Lady Panthers Jan. 22 as visiting Franklin-Simpson came back to escape Jim Young Gymnasium with a 51-49 district win.

Coach Ryan Davenport’s team would have been alone in first place in the district had they been able to hold on to the lead.

After leading 28-21 at the half, RHS scored the first seven points of the third quarter. The lead was 36-23 with 4:03 remaining in the quarter after a free throw by Jaylah Kees.

The Lady Panthers had to go through a crucial stage without standout guard Amiyah  Collier, who hurt her ankle early in the second half. She came back in the game, but the Lady Cats had gotten new life in the interim.

F-S scored 8 quick points with Katelynn McAlister hitting a trey, Lauren Johnson putting together a three-point play, and Alera Barbee scoring on a rebound basket. Suddenly the visitors were within 36-31.

Lareesha Cawthorne and Anastasia Dowlen hit big baskets for the Lady Panthers, but Franklin took their first leads at 43-42 and 44-43. But Russellville went back up 47-44 on goals by Cawthorne and Collier with 1:08 left in the game.

They had the ball, but F-S star Kate Norwood made a steal and a bucket with 47.6 seconds. The Lady Panthers moved the margin to three again on Dowlen’s 11th rebound, which she turned into a goal.

Norwood made another steal and hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 16.5 seconds. RHS was working toward getting a good shot, but Norwood stole the ball again. This time it was Johnson who scored the winning bucket.

Russellville had 5.1 seconds left with a chance for the tie or the win, but the ever-present Norwood knocked the ball away to seal the win.

Norwood hit five 3-ponters on the way to 24 points. Johnson pulled down 14 rebounds among Franklin’s 31.

Dowlen had 21 points to go with those 11 rebounds. Collier added 12 points.

The Lady Panthers hit only 19 of 44 shots from two-point range and missed both of their three-pointers. They were 11 of 18 at the line. F-S hit 2 of 5 free throws. Russellville had 25 rebounds.

Score by Quarters: 1) RHS 14-13, 2) 28-21, 3) 42-37, Final) Franklin-Simpson 51, Russellville 49

F-S (51) Kate Norwood 24, Alera Barbee 8, Hadley Turner 6, Katelyn McAlister 6, Ashanti Johnson 5, Malyea Partinger 2

RHS (49) Anastasia Dowlen 11, Amiyah Collier 12, Macaria Hines 5, Jaylah Kees 5, Chloe Whitescarver 4, Lareesha Cawthorne 2, Aliyah Kennedy


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