Franklin Boys Varsity Basketball: The Better FHS Pulls Out the Win

Siddharth Chandra, Writer

After suffering their first 2 losses of the season back-to-back, the FHS Boys Basketball team was looking to get back on the winning path. They certainly did that with their commanding 78-53 victory over Foxboro High School on Tuesday. Let’s break down what got them to their decisive bounce-back victory.

For starters, Franklin got out to a quick start. With 4:20 left in the 1st quarter, Foxboro had called a timeout, clear that they had some things that needed to figure out.

From the get-go, Franklin looked to use their size to bully Foxboro down in the paint. Sophomore Sean O’Leary (F) put up 2 baskets in the paint dictating the pace of the game. Foxboro knew they had to lock down the paint and make sure that they didn’t get killed down there (spoiler alert, it didn’t go well).

By the end of the 1st quarter, Franklin was up 20-10 with O’Leary up to 6 points. Senior Will Tracey (F) added on 2 baskets and had an electrifying fastbreak that pumped a certain excitement into the gym.

Sophomore (25) Sean O’Leary Dominated the paint early in the game (Siddharth Chandra)

It was a bitter defensive battle to start the 2nd quarter. Both teams were aggressive in the paint and weren’t doing great in their deeper shots. But defensively Franklin’s Forwards weren’t giving any leeway  to Foxboro’s Dylan Gordon (G/F). Despite being a big strong body down in the paint, the Panther defenders would collapse immediately on him allowing for no easy baskets. However, this game could be turned around at any moment if either team started hitting their deeper shots. Sophomore Henry Digiorgio (G) decided he would do that himself hitting 2 straight 3s and a long 2 ensuring that Foxboro wouldn’t be controlling a shootout. Franklin went into halftime up 35-23.

Franklin reasserted their dominance in the game at the start of the 4th quarter. 2:50 into the 3rd Franklin started to build their lead up to 52-32. Instead of solely using their size in the paint, Franklin started to kill Foxboro on their backdoor cuts to the basket. The speed out of the Panther’s Guards appeared to catch Foxboro off guard. They weren’t able to respond to the change in the game style quickly enough putting them in a big hole.

Tracey had also added some big 3s to add to Franklin’s lead. Franklin ended strong, trying to put the game away at 59-38. Sophomores Andrew O’Neill (G) and Digiorgio were leading the Panthers scoring at 14 and 12 points respectively. O’Neill quietly had a great game, getting it done on both sides of the floor. He was assigned late in the game to cover Gordon to avoid Foxboro mounting a comeback effort. O’Neill locked down on Gordon, despite the size difference that most want to point out.

(10) Henry Digiorgio driving to the basket (Siddharth Chandra)

The 4th quarter was a wrap on the game. The Panthers were able to keep the scoring up at the same rate as the first 3 quarters. Even though Foxboro was keeping pace with their scoring, they had already dug themselves into too big of a hole.

Franklin’s bench was on their feet after Freshman Caden Sullivan (G) hit back-to-back 3s sending Foxboro home with a defeat. 78-53 was the Final Score.

Key Takeaways

This team is more experienced than they seem. In their starting lineup alone the Panthers have 3 Sophomores, but they fail to show their inexperience. If they are able to keep this high IQ playing, then opposing teams are going to be in trouble.

Andrew O’Neill is the defensive leader of the team. He may not be the biggest but he certainly is a nightmare to go against on offense. Once the Panthers Coach Neely put him on Dylan Gordon late in the game, it was clear that he was going to go toe-toe with the stars in the Hockmock league and beyond.

The Panthers rely on quick starts. Franklin cant get themselves into a hole quick in games. They need to come out and dictate the pace of the game. Once they do that, the rest of it seems to fall in place.