Leave it to the Towson High seniors to give the Franklin girls basketball team a scare in its quest for a 15th win in 16 games this season.
Towson senior Emmey German is the only senior who regularly starts for the Generals (11-6).
On senior night, Kathryn Krimm, Brykin Kutnik, and Denae’ Douglas started, along with junior Audra Lucas and they staked the Generals to a 16-5 lead with 3:21 left in the first quarter.
Franklin (15-1), whose only loss this season was to Mount de Sales, came back late in the quarter and in the final three quarters and secured a 58-41 victory, but not before getting a couple of serious challenges.
“Towson did come out with an amazing first quarter,” Franklin coach Denikwa James said. “They did surprise me.”
German, who scored 34 points in a regional playoff game last season, scored 13 of her team-high 17 points in the first quarter and the Generals led 18-15 at the break.
Senior night only added emotion to German’s competitive desire.
“I get fired up for every game, whether it’s home or away,” German said. “I get fired up and even though it was senior night I really wanted to show out and I think I did the best that I could.”
Krimm and Douglas added baskets and Kutnik had a key steal and assist in the opening quarter.
Towson coach Rebecca Moyer wasn’t shocked by they way they performed in the starting spotlight.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Moyer said. “They had so much energy and they were so pumped all day today, so I wasn’t surprised that they would come out like that, but we just fought so hard. They played, they fought and they didn’t give up.”
Neither did Franklin underclassmen Dominique Doss, Mykian Ross and Ayane Booze, who sparked the Indians' rally in the first half.
Ross, a freshman, had 13 of her 17 points in the first half.
Doss, a sophomore, had nine of her game-high 21 points in the second quarter and the Indians took a 32-24 lead at halftime.
“They have a lot of heart,” James said. “They played with intensity. They played with fire and they picked it up in the second quarter after coming out slow.”
Sophomore Booze picked up her defensive intensity, holding German to four points over the final three quarters.
“She [Booze] is a great defender,” said James, noting she was aware of German from last season. “I had to look back in my book from last year and she hit 14 on me last year, so I know she was a shooter.”
Franklin had gained the halftime lead after an 11-0 run during the first and second quarters.
A free throw by sophomore Grace Heinlein with 2:48 left was the first point of the second quarter for Towson.
They added a three-pointer by German and follow-up basket by junior Daija Fitchett for the other five points in the quarter.
Franklin built its lead to 34-24 on a basket by Amaya Booze with 6:52 left in the third quarter, before the Generals mounted one last charge.
German’s basket started a 10-2 run for Towson.
A three-pointer from the top of the key by sophomore reserve Caroline Ready cut the lead to 34-29.
Doss scored with 2:57 left in the quarter, making it 36-29, but Towson answered with a free throw by freshman Anna Lucas and another three-pointer by Ready that cut the deficit to three, 36-33.
Junior Audra Lucas made a free throw with 46.6 left in the quarter and the Generals only trailed 36-34.
That’s when Doss went to work.
Her three-pointer with 26 seconds left made it 36-29 and she answered a Towson basket with a layup at the buzzer.
Doss and Ross combined for nine points from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
“No. 44 [Doss] and 32 [Ross] are great players,” Moyer said. “44 is un-guardable. I even put two girls on her and she still got by.”
Franklin senior Rebeka Gaer (8 points) made sure the Generals couldn’t rally late as she hit all three of her field goals in the final 2:32.
“She is a great shooter and I wanted her to still run the clock, but she hit two big baskets and I was definitely proud of her,” James said.
Moyer was equally proud of her team, especially the seniors who enjoyed rare starts.
“The only starter was Emilie,” Moyer said. “The other seniors barely got minutes and this year they really picked it up. This year it made me so happy. I’ve always known they had it, but they started picking it up their senior year.”
German wanted even more.
“We really wanted this win, but we didn’t come out with it,” she said. “I mean, we played our hardest and we did all we could for the seniors.”