The Franklin High School Lady Panthers have made school history. After becoming the 2-A sectional champions last Friday when they defeated the Lexington Yellow Jackets, 62-46, the girls made their return to Greensboro where they lost last year to the Tuscola Mountaineers. This year, experience and skill would help the Panthers achieve a different outcome.
On Tuesday night, after making the four hour drive to the University of Greensboro, Franklin took on the (23-3) East Rutherfordton Cavaliers in the 2-A Western Regional semifinals.
The Cavaliers shot out to a 14-9 lead in the first quarter, but Franklin bounced back in the second and headed to the locker room at the half, down by one. In the second half, with the tone set, the lead changed several times between the teams.
As time ticked off the clock in the fourth quarter, Franklin found themselves down by eight at one point. They were able to battle back after key plays from various players on the court, but found themselves in foul trouble and down one with 16 seconds to go. With the crowd on edge, the ball went to senior Kaitlin Bishop who was able to cooly sink a three to put the Panthers up by two, 77-75. In the last moments of the game, Franklin was able to hold on to the lead and the win, 80-76.
Senior Sarah Henson led the team with a season high 39 points. Vanessa Agrusa had 13 and Bishop had 11.
The Lady Panthers will head back to UNCG on Saturday, March 8, where they will face off against 30-0 Catawba County Trojans of Bandys High School in the 2-A Western Regional championship game. Tip-off will be at noon with a fan bus leaving FHS at 6:30 a.m. Cost to ride is $35, and does not include food or the $9 admission fee to the game. For more information, contact FHS at (828)524-6467.