Franklinton victorious over Salmen; teams tied for District 8-4A lead

Published 2:32 pm Friday, February 10, 2017

Franklinton led by six through three quarters and then outscored Salmen 24-16 in the fourth quarter to capture a 64-50 victory over the Spartans in Tuesday’s District 8-4A contest at Franklinton.
“We played with a relentless energy tonight,” Franklinton coach Brad Oestriecher said. “Everybody who got on the court left it all out there and I’m just so proud of them. They deserve this win and I’m just so excited for the kids.”
The win tied Franklinton with Salmen for first place in the loss column in district.
Franklinton is 16-9 overall and 4-1 in league play. Salmen is 19-8 overall and 5-1 in league play
“It was a big win. It kind of put us in the driver’s seat to split the district title,” Oestriecher said. “We’ve still got some teams we have to go take of, but huge win for my guys. I’m just excited because of all of the hard work they’ve put in to get to this point.”
The win was just Salmen’s second district loss since the 2007-08 season. Both setbacks are to Franklinton. Last year, the Demons snapped Salmen’s long district winning streak with a 60-53 win on Feb. 4.
Franklinton trailed 12-6 after the first quarter and was still down six at 20-14 with 5:06 left in the first half.
But the Demons closed out the first half with a 10-2 run to take the lead into the halftime break.
T.Y. Pope began the run by splitting free throws to make it a five-point game with four minutes left.
Darius Dawson brought the Demons within two by hitting a 3-pointer and then he tied the contest at 20-20 when he drove in for two more. The Demons took the lead, as Dawson made a backcourt steal, saved the ball to Sam Smith and Smith hit the ensuing layup to make it 22-20 in Franklinton’s favor with 1:27 on the clock. Salmen’s Kyran Donaldson evened the score with a baseline jumper, but Pope was successful on a layup with 33 seconds to go. The Demons led 24-22 at halftime.
Franklinton had a 31-27 lead at the 3:54 mark of the third quarter, but extended it to 38-31 with 2:17 left. That was the Demons’ biggest lead up to that point and they took a 40-34 advantage to the fourth period.
The Demons widened the gap to open the final quarter by going on a 9-2 run. The teams split the first four points, but then the Demons went on a 7-0 run to go up double digits.
Smith began the run with 6:59 left in the fourth quarter when he hit the front end of a 1-and-1. Pope grabbed the offensive rebound and that led to Jairus Bryant hitting a 3-pointer. Dawson hit for two on a fastbreak and got fouled. His free throw was good and the Demons’ lead was up to 49-36 with 6:20 left.
Dawson had a solid game, scoring a team-high 19 points and hitting a pair of 3-pointers.
“Darius is an absolute joy to coach and he deserves everything he gets, all of the success he gets out here. I’m just excited for him and his talent really showed tonight,” Oestriecher said.
Devia Faciane, who had eight points that included two 3-pointers, stopped the run with an offensive rebound and putback, but the closest Salmen got after that was eight at 56-48 with 1:58 left.
Both teams had their chances from the free-throw line, but struggled. Franklinton was 17-of-33 (51.5 percent) while Salmen was 12-for-22 (54.5).
Pope recorded 16 points for the Demons.
Raisean Hart posted nine points while Smith had seven, Sheldon Baham tallied six, Marcus Conerly logged four and Bryant added three.
Hart, Conerly and Bryant hit a 3-pointer each.
Salmen’s Dietrick Stovall led all scorers with 21 points, which included three 3-pointers.
Cameron Vickers finished with 15 points. Carey Holmen posted four while Donaldson added two.
Franklinton is 24th in the unofficial LHSAA Class 4A power rankings, while Salmen is 15th.