The Funeral for the Tigers that Can’t Roar


Siddharth Chandra

The Taunton TIgers failed to stop the high scoring of Franklin in Tuesday Night’s game

Siddharth Chandra, Writer

A funeral for Franklin Rattle City, that’s what Taunton’s student section “the jungle” thought would happen on Thursday night. However, that aged incredibly well Taunton Tigers.

Regardless of how much Taunton got exposed on Tuesday night, the Panthers played arguably their best game of the year. With a near-flawless first half on both ends, a 39-22 lead going into halftime demoralized Taunton. From there the Tigers were chasing the Panthers but they were too slow, Franklin kept on building on their lead until it was too late for Taunton. Taunton’s 10 game win streak was snapped with their first league loss while Franklin remained strong on their 8-game win streak. So let’s look at how the Panthers dominated the “top-tier” Tigers.

The game had a certain intensity when it started. Both teams weren’t willing to give up any easy baskets in the paint. This led to both the Panthers and Tigers shooting from outside the arc. Franklin jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead with Sophomore Sean O’Leary (F) hitting 2 3’s. Closer to the end of the 1st the raining of 3s continued with both teams not afraid to shoot. Sophomores Andrew O’Neill (G) and Henry Digiorgio (G) made the rain more intense pushing the lead out to 16-9 with 2 Ben Harvey (F) free throws in there as well. It was clear from the start of this game that to win, one team had to shoot lights out and Franklin executed that perfectly.

The end of the 1st was capped off by 5 straight points from Digiorgio capping it off with a late 3 to give 10 points in the first. O’Leary tacked on another 6 to make it 21-11 going to the 2nd quarter. Taunton’s offensive production has been slowed down greatly in the first quarter, and that trend would continue into the beginning of the 4th. The Tigers couldn’t get any good looks inside the paint so they had to look outside for shooting. However, none of their shots seemed to fall leading to an early deficit. The Hockmock leading scorer Senior Trent Santos (G) had also been held scoreless in the 1st quarter which contributed to the lack of Taunton’s offensive production.

Franklin was nearly perfect on defensive locking down Taunton’s offense (Siddharth Chandra)

Franklin picked up right where they left up which O’Leary made a beautiful spin move into the paint showing his dominance down low. O’Leary continued this trend of dominating the paint for a majority of the 2nd quarter and the rest of the game. By the time Santos had put up any points, it was already 27-15 Franklin. Franklin was starting to catch onto the trend of the Taunton starting close out quickly on the 3 point line. They started to attack the basket, and before you know it senior Sean Vinson (F), O’Leary, and Digiorgio found themselves making tough layups in the paint. Vinson’s classmate Will Tracey (F) added onto the totals 3’s made which in turn would bring the halftime score to 39-22.

Taunton was clearly struggling on all facets of the ball. They were struggling with outside shooting as Franklin was shooting over 80% from deep, and Taunton shooting a measly 30%. Everyone on Franklin, from the guards to the forwards, was not afraid to shoot, putting any open shot they had. That is one thing this team has grown upon throughout the year. With the core of the starting lineup being so young, they weren’t sure how they would be able to shoot in games and if they should really be hucking up 3s.

Over time they’ve gained confidence from beyond the arc and know that they aren’t going to let go of easy points. Taunton was also getting bullied in the paint with Franklin grabbing a majority of the rebound, especially on offense. DiGiorgio would lead Franklin with 12 boards by the end of the game and O’Leary added on another 5.

#25 Sean O’Leary seemed to be pretty happy about his performance (Siddharth Chandra)

The fans were treated to the regularly occurring halftime shows of Metro Teams going against each other. This week they got to experience a kid who attempted to dunk even though he is only in 7th grade. Anyways,  back to the game.

Taunton came out with a different type of intensity in the 3rd quarter, force-feeding their star Santos who would score 2 straight buckets in an attempt to reel Taunton back into the game. That failed miserably as O’Neill and Digiorgio hit back-to-back 3s to bring the score to 45-27 putting Taunton right back into their hole. The Tigers once again had to defend the 3 point line in hopes of slowing down the Franklin offense, but once again they went horrendously wrong.

Franklin would go on a 29-2 run to the end of the 3rd crushing Taunton’s hopes of a comeback. In this span O’Leary bullied Taunton scoring 3 straight layups that would force a timeout by Taunton. It wouldn’t be long before Tracey got more involved in the game with a tough lay-up and a beautiful assist at the end of the 3rd to put Franklin up 68-29.

Taunton’s offensive production was miserable, and partially thanks to Trent Santos who was missing shots left and right. Although he ended with 20 points, most of those were useless points that did nothing to help the team. This is a game plan the future teams who play Taunton would want to know, limit Trent Santos, limit Taunton’s offensive production. As Rattle City would like to say, he seemed a little “overrated” on Tuesday night. Franklin’s offensive attack was led by their young core of O’Leary (23 points) and Digiorgio (20 points). O’Leary would end up with another 2 in the 4th bringing his totals to 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists while Digiorgio had 20 points and 12 rebounds.

#10 Henry Digiorgio continued his high scoring in Franklin’s win over Taunton (Siddharth Chandra)

By the start of the 4th, it was clear that the intensity had died down, with “The Jungle” getting really quiet. The banter between Rattle City and The Jungle had died down significantly from the first quarter. That lack of energy symbolized Taunton throughout the game. It didn’t seem like they wanted to win, they were lazy at times compared to Franklin. Franklin had a sense of pride at home, and they wanted to win, real bad. Final Score 77-48 Franklin Panthers.

This was the biggest game of the season for Franklin for a few reasons,

  1. They handed Taunton with their 1st league loss and 2nd overall loss
  2. They beat the #5 ranked team in Division 1 while Franklin was the #10 ranked team
  3. It was a statement win that was heard throughout MA, Franklin is a real contender

What really one Franklin this game was their efficiency in their shooting. Through the first 3 quarters, they were 10-11 on 3s and just under 70% for their 2-point shooting percentage. This boils down to a simple formula, if you shoot efficiently then you will win games.

The Franklin Panthers continue their revenge tour on Friday (2/11/22) against Mansfield at home.