Demons tie Salmen for District 8-4A title

Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PEARL RIVER — Franklinton capped off its co-District 8-4A Championship on Thursday by defeating Pearl River, 82-26, on the road in the regular season finale.
Franklinton tied Salmen for the league title for the second-straight year. Both teams finished the district season with identical 7-1 records. The two split the season series, winning one game each. The victory by each team occurred on its home floor.
“It’s awesome for our kids,” Franklinton coach Brad Oestriecher said about winning the co-district championship. “It kind of solidifies all of the work we’ve done, all of the work we’ve put in, really since June.”
Franklinton continued to display good ball movement throughout the game, which allowed them to get open shots. Like Tuesday, they were knocking those down.
“The last month, that’s what our team has prided themselves in is sharing the ball,” Oestriecher said. “It’s given us this seven-game winning streak. We share the ball in the playoffs, we should be able to make a deep run.”
Franklinton led 7-5 with 5:29 left in the first quarter and then the Demons began to open up the lead, going on a 15-0 run.
The run began when Darius Dawson passed to Raisean Hart, who was in the left corner. Hart, who had seven points, knocked down the 3-pointer, got fouled and hit the free throw to convert the four-point play.
Sam Smith, who recorded five points, made a steal and hit the ensuing layup before T.Y. Pope went to Hart, who again hit a 3-pointer to make it 16-5 with 4:32 on the clock.
Dawson, who posted eight, hit his first of two 3-pointers and Pope capped off the run by splitting from the line. It was 20-5 with 3:07 left.
The Demons added to their lead, but leading 24-8, Franklinton finished the quarter on an 8-0 run.
Smith passed to Pope for a dunk. The two connected again, this time for an alley-oop layup. Pope hit a shot and got fouled with 0.9 seconds left in the first quarter. Pope missed the free throw, but the rebound went right to Smith, who got the shot off before the horn and made it. Franklinton led 32-8 through one quarter.
Pearl River’s Devin Hart hit a jumper on the first possession of the second quarter that put the score at 32-10, but those were the Rebels’ final points until Drew Soileau, who led the Rebels with eight points, converted a three-point play with 2:19 remaining in the third quarter.
During that time, the Demons scored 33 unanswered points to go up 65-10 before Soileau’s points.
Franklinton led 49-10 at halftime and 67-15 through three quarters before going on to the victory.
Eleven players tallied points for Franklinton, led by Pope, who had 23.
Rodney King posted 13.
Marcus Conerly had eight while Jairus Bryant, Trequan Charles and Marquis Robertson posted four each and Sheldon Baham and Kian Conerly added three each. Kian Conerly hit a 3-pointer.
Franklinton finishes the regular season with a 19-9 overall record.
The Demons are 18th in the unofficial Class 4A LHSAA power rankings.
Pearl River’s Austin Stodard recorded six points on a pair of 3-pointers, while Devin Hart tallied four, Richard Tillman had three and Nykeim Williams and Caleb Clatterbuck added two.
Pearl River finished the regular season with a 4-20 overall record and 0-8 mark in district. The Rebels are 51st in the LHSAA unofficial Class 4A power ranking.

DAILY NEWS PHOTO/Chris Kinkaid Franklinton’s Darius Dawson drives with the ball during the first quarter of Thursday’s road game against Pearl River. Dawson scored eight points.

Franklinton’s Darius Dawson drives with the ball during the first quarter of Thursday’s road game against Pearl River. Dawson scored eight points.