Second-chance free throw boosts Franklin

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2002

K.K. Willis of PCA grabs a rebound as Franklin’s Leigh Stevens battles for the ball in the Lady Eagles’ 63-40 win.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[01/12/02]The Porters Chapel Academy Eagles made plenty of mistakes in the fourth quarter of a 60-51 loss to Franklin on Friday, but it was a mistake by the clock operator and the officials that short-circuited a furious final-minute comeback.

The game was tied 37-37 at the end of the third quarter, but PCA (2-14, 0-2 Conference 7-A) went nearly four minutes without a field goal midway through the fourth to allow Franklin (7-8, 1-1) to build a 55-43 lead.

With 1:04 to play, PCA’s Andrew Embry was fouled on a 3-pointer and hit the ensuing free throw to complete the four-point play and cut it to 55-47. Two more quick baskets made it 55-51 with 47.2 seconds left.

Franklin’s Ben Boutwell was fouled in the backcourt and missed the front end of a one-and-one. PCA rebounded and quickly pushed the ball into the frontcourt when an official blew his whistle to stop play with 40.5 seconds left.

After a conference, the officials ruled that PCA had 10 team fouls instead of the nine showing on the scoreboard and brought Boutwell back to the line. Instead of restoring the clock to 47.2 seconds, however, the officials ruled that it was an “uncorrectable error” and kept the clock at 40.5 seconds.

“My question is, if it’s a correctable error for the free throw, then why isn’t it correctable for the time?” PCA coach Roger Browning said, adding that he plans to check the rule before appealing. “Seven seconds makes a big difference in a game like this.”

Franklin coach Mike Kramer said the call was a welcome break.

“We needed a break about that time, because we weren’t making any free throws,” Kramer said.

Boutwell missed the second free throw, but Franklin’s Blake Tucker rebounded, was fouled and hit one of two foul shots to make it 56-51.

PCA pushed the ball up the court again and Humphrey Barlow hit a 3-pointer, but was called for traveling as he went into his shooting motion. Franklin then put the game away at the line.

“You can say it would’ve helped, you can say it wouldn’t have helped,” PCA’s Joseph Ivey said of the free throw call.

Ivey led PCA with 19 points. Embry added 12 points and Tyler Ellis had 10 points off the bench.

Tucker had 19 points and eight rebounds for Franklin, while Warren Hoggett added 10 points.

(G) PCA 63, Franklin 40

The Willis sisters teamed up to pound Franklin on both ends of the floor. Brady Willis led PCA (9-8, 2-0) with 23 points, nine steals and six rebounds, and K.K. Willis added 17 points and six steals as the Lady Eagles forced Franklin into 38 turnovers and pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Franklin (14-5, 1-1) hung tough through much of the first half, but PCA went on a 9-0 run in the last 21/2 minutes to open a 31-21 lead. Brady Willis hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap the run and give PCA a boost heading into the locker room.

“It helped us a lot because we weren’t playing too great,” Brady Willis said.

PCA maintained the lead through the third quarter and pulled away early in the fourth with a huge surge. The Lady Eagles hit 6 of 10 shots in the fourth quarter and outscored Franklin 18-6.

“The last half they just ran us down. I had eight girls, and he kept substituting and just wore me down,” Franklin coach Gerald Scriber said.

Senior Jennifer Sharp led Franklin with 19 points, but only scored four in the second half. Kayla Barnette added eight points for PCA.