Finally, Derrius Franklin had his mother right where he wanted her — in the stands. Having returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, she was seeing her son play for the first time in his senior season.
Franklin was determined it wouldn't be the only game she got to see.
With an eight-point, six-steal night, Franklin typified his team's effort in a 48-42 win over No. 5 Bethel in the Peninsula District quarterfinals Monday night. The Monarchs (16-6) forced 20 turnovers, 13 in the second half, and overcame a seven-point deficit midway through the third quarter.
"At halftime, one of our assistant coaches told us we were playing soft and had to change if we were going to win," Franklin said, referring to Craig Davis. "We have nine seniors, and we don't want this to be our last game. We aren't ready to take the uniform off yet."
Menchville, the tournament's No. 4 seed, will play on. Next up is No. 1 Hampton in Wednesday's semifinals. And no matter what happens the rest of the week, the Monarchs already have qualified for the Eastern Region tournament for the second straight year.
Bethel (15-8) shot 53 percent from the floor, but that was negated by 20 turnovers. On their last 15 possessions, the Bruins went 4-for-6 from the field but turned the ball over nine times.
And Menchville converted. Fourteen of the Monarchs' 32 points in the second half were off turnovers.
"We just closed it down a bit," Menchville coach Dennis Koutoufas said. "There's a big difference between when you're three feet away and when you're one foot away. Most of our steals weren't on the ball. They were because we put pressure on the ball."
Another huge stat: After being dominated on the boards in a 10-point loss to Bethel on Feb. 7, the Monarchs gave up only four offensive rebounds — and no second-chance baskets — this time.
"That was our main concern," 6-foot-4 post man Jermaine Brown said. "We just came out in the right mind set this time."
Jashaun Dunn's basket gave Bethel a 40-38 lead with 4:11 remaining, but Ben Sealey answered with a 3-pointer 45 seconds later to give Menchville the lead for good. After a Bethel turnover, the Monarchs worked nearly two minutes off the clock before Brown's layup made it 43-40 with 1:26 left.
After another turnover, Jordan McMillian went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line. Then, after coming up with a steal, Trey Brown went 2-of-2 from the line to make it 46-40 with 37 seconds left.
NO. 4 MENCHVILLE 48, NO. 5 BETHEL 42
BETHEL (15-8): Brown 17, Bacote 10, Grant 1, Jam. Dunn 2, Jas. Dunn 12. Totals: 17 4-6 42.
MENCHVILLE (16-6): Franklin 8, Sealey 6, Wright 2, T. Brown 9, J. Brown 12, McMillian 11. Totals: 16 12-19 48.
3-point goals: Bethel 4 (Brown 4), Menchville 4 (Sealey 2, T. Brown, McMillian).
No. 1 Woodside girls 61, No. 8 Phoebus 24
The Wolverines scored the game's first 31 points and cruised in Monday night's quarterfinals. Woodside (21-1) will go against No. 4 Kecoughtan in Thursday's semifinals.
Peninsula District Player of the Year Adrienne Motley led the Wolverines with 23 points.
PHOEBUS (4-17): Jackson 3, Love 3, Edwards 6, Scrivens 2, Balmer-Brown 8, Rooks 2. Totals: 9 4-10 24.
WOODSIDE (21-1): Keyes 2, Alec. Bell 12, Alex. Bell 3, J. Williams 2, Earp 7, Kelly 10, Motley 23, K. Williams 2. Totals: 28 4-8 61.
3-point goals: Woodside 1 (Motley), Phoebus 2 (Jackson, Love).Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun