Franklin (18-5) put four players in double figures and got a great defensive effort from a fifth in a 91-71 victory over Lansdowne (11-9) in the first round on the Class 3A North Region playoffs.
Ben Murphy and Chandler Johnson scored 20 points each and Kameron Howard (18 points) and Reggie Truitt (14) also scored in double figures for the host Indians.
The Vikings had all five starters in double figures, led by Nate Emge (18 points). Tony Green (15), Teylor Silverman and Charlie Dorsey (12 each) and Cody Ndiaye (11) also chimed in.
The sharpshooting Silverman was shadowed all over the court by Micah Lowry.
“Micah Lowry did an awesome job,” Franklin coach Dave Iampieri said. “He just shut Teylor down and we decided not to help out on the one side and I don’t think the big man (Green) really hurt us in the second half like he did in the first half.”
Franklin bolted to a 17-4 lead in the first 3:20 of the game, thanks to a pair of three-pointers by Murphy, but Lansdowne inched closer, behind 11 points, including three straight treys by Emge, but they still trailed 26-15 after one quarter.
“Everybody knows Teylor in the county, so we said somebody’s got to step up, so Nate was big for us,” Lansdowne coach Steve Coursey said. “That brought us back in the game to start with.”
Ndiaye and Lowry traded baskets early in the second quarter before Lansdowne outscored the Indians 15-5 to cut the lead to 33-32 with 2:02 left in the half.
Dorsey hit a pair of three-pointers during the stretch, which ended with an old-fashioned three-point play by Siverman.
Franklin responded with an 8-0 run that began with a three-pointer by Johnson.
Johnson’s steal and layup was followed by Truitt’s trey and then the lead was nine.
A late layup by Green stopped the momentum, but the Vikings still trailed 41-34 at halftime.
“We are used to teams coming back on us,” Murphy said. “We don’t usually fold under pressure.”
Iampieri made sure at halftime they knew the Indians had to maintain focus after coughing up the 13-point lead.
“We remained composed, we knew that we were probably the better team,” said Iampieri, whose Indians beat the Vikings 68-47 during the regular season. “At halftime, we told them Lansdowne is not going away, they don’t want to go home, either you decide to pick up on defense — and we really had to shut down the big kid (Green) and the shooter, we didn’t really expect 21 (Emge), I thought our defense did a great job on Teylor.”
The Indians continued to score in a hurry and outscored the Vikings 28-16 in the third quarter to take a 69-50 lead into the final stanza.
Howard had eight points in the quarter and made the final two three-pointers of Franklin’s 11 in the contest.
“They were hot, they couldn’t miss a shot, that killed us,” Coursey said.
The coach also praised Franklin senior co-captain Murphy, whose two dunks were the highlight of the final quarter.
“[Murphy] is so active an athletic and you’ve got to worry about him and the other guys hitting the outside shots too, you have to pick your poison what you want to give up,” Coursey said.
Iampieri has seen Murphy’s magic all season.
“Ben is a smart kid. He is unselfish and he was getting his shot going and he distributes when he needs to, he rebounds for us, he plays defense, he gets steals, I have guys across the board that do that,” Iampieri said. “I don’t want to single anyone out, this was a team victory for everyone who was on the court today.”
Murphy was just happy to get back on the court after missing two losses at the end of the regular season.
“We just lost two hard games, I sat out, I hurt my ankle last week, so we had to come back and bounce back strong,” Murphy said.
Ben Murphy 20, Chandler Johnson 20, Kameron Howard 18, Reggie Truitt 14, Micah Lowry 7, Shamar McCall 6, Destin Verdejo 6.
Nate Emge 18, Tony Green 15, Teylor Silverman 12, Charlie Dorsey 12, Ndiaye Code 11, Brian Hensley 2.
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Halftime: Franklin 41-34.