By Sean Dunlap
District play officially began last week for Franklin County’s varsity basketball teams with the Lady Bulldogs gaining solid wins over Port Gibson (54-31) and Wilkinson County (61-45) while the Bulldogs fell to Port Gibson (57-55) and bounced back to defeat Wilkinson County (58-41).
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FC 54, PORT GIBSON 31
Three Lady Bulldogs scored in double figures against the Blue Waves — with JaSharreah Hunt leading the way with 22 points while teammates JaKya Brown and Te’Kysa Thompson added 12 each — for the district opening win Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Leniya Miller and Harmoni Porter contributed to the victory by scoring six and two points respectively.
FC opened a 17-2 bulge in the first eight minutes of regulation and outscored Port Gibson 15-13 in the second frame to take a 32-15 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Blue Waves led the third quarter with an 11-9 run, but Franklin’s offense rallied again in the fourth to outgain Port Gibson 13-7.
Hunt was also credited with draining a trio of three pointers in the victory.
FC 61, WILKINSON COUNTY 45
Another big run in the first eight minutes of regulation helped set the tempo for Franklin County’s win over the visiting Lady Wildcats on Friday, Jan. 8.
The Lady Dawgs rolled out to a 14-5 lead in the first quarter before Wilkinson County’s offense rallied for a 16-12 stand in the second.
Going into the half with a five-point lead, Franklin padded its advantage in the third with a 19-10 run and a 16-14 battle through the fourth.
Thompson had a stellar night in pacing Franklin County with a season-high 28 points while Hunt scored 14.
Others chipping in for the win included Brown with eight, Miller with five, Porter with four and Rylei Turner with two.
Franklin will face Hazlehurst in district play on Friday, Jan. 15 and will travel to Jefferson County Tuesday, Jan. 19.
FC’s regular season record stands at 9-5 with the Lady Dawgs 2-0 in district action.
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PORT GIBSON 57, FC 55
Franklin County’s district opener at Port Gibson on Tuesday, Jan. 5 turned into a nip-and-tuck shoot-out with the Blue Waves.
Port Gibson outscored FC 12-6 in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs found its offensive rhythm in the second frame to go on a 16-12 run — staying within two points of the lead, 24-22, at the mid-game break.
The Blue Waves built on their lead in the third with an 18-10 scoring spurt, but Franklin County gave an all-out 23-15 effort in the fourth only to fall by a two-point margin.
FC’s Kobe Marshall led all players in the contest with 23 points on the night — 14 in the first half alone.
Daylen Thomas scored nine for the Bulldogs while Ken Malone added eight, Calebria McDonald finished with seven and Michael Covington tacked on five.
Amarion Wilson also had a bucket and Jesse Shorts scored one for the Dawgs.
FC 58, WILKINSON COUNTY 41
At home Friday, Jan. 8, Franklin County outpaced Wilkinson County in three of the four quarter of play en route to a district win over the Wildcats.
The Dawgs held a 31-19 lead at halftime thanks to solid shooting that resulted in an 18-8 run in the first quarter and a 13-11 run in the second stanza.
FC outscored the Wildcats 17-13 in the third and the teams battled to a 9-all draw in the final frame.
Four Franklin players finished in double figures in the victory — Marshall led the way with 16 while Thomas recorded 13, Covington added 11 and McDonald tacked on 10.
Also contributing to the win were Shorts with two points and Kentrez Bonds with one.
The Dawgs are set to face Hazlehurst in district play at home on Friday, Jan. 15 before visiting Jefferson County on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
The Bulldogs’ regular season mark stands at 5-8 overall with a 1-1 record in district play.