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Five measly minutes.
Four minutes, 29 seconds to be exact. About the same amount of time it takes for a really good high school runner to cover a mile.
Or, as was the case last Thursday, for Franklin County to establish enough of a foothold to ruin homestanding Anderson County's Senior Night, 65-58 in girls' high school basketball.
In a contest that had been marked by eight ties and nine lead changes, Anderson clung to a 51-50 lead with 5:36 to play. By the time the Lady Bearcats scored again, Franklin had run off 10 straight points and was on the way to its 15th win in 24 games.
To be sure, Anderson made a game of it after Caitlyn Royalty broke the scoring drought with a drive and only 67 seconds remaining. The Lady Bearcats got back within 3 when Christy Gemmell banked a 3-pointer home with 23.6 seconds to go, but the damage had been done. Franklin sank 4 of 6 free throws inside the final 21.6 seconds to seal the victory.
"I thought we had the momentum at the end of the third quarter," said Anderson coach Tony Kays. Anderson had rallied from an early 7-point deficit to forge a 46-40 lead inside the final minute of the third frame.
Franklin's Kathryn Clark and Finnja Ramcke sank jumpers before the end of the quarter. Ramcke's shot, coming off a nice curl around a screen at the elbow, was especially damaging. It fell through the net with 2 seconds left and visibly picked the Lady Flyers up.
"They hit a couple of big shots and took the momentum back," Kays noted.
That coupled with a pair of fouls on Anderson's leading scorer, Courtney Milam, early in the final frame practically sealed Anderson's doom. Milam went to the bench with four fouls at the 5:36 mark and did not return until 2:33 remained. While Franklin only built a 54-51 lead in her absence, the Lady Bearcats' attack soured. There were a pair of unforced turnovers and shots that had been falling suddenly started bounding off the rim.
"Sometimes that just happens," said Kays, whose team dropped to 19-7. "You don't have an explanation for it, but that is when it is time for someone to step up. We took a break and Franklin County took advantage of it."
Three straight Anderson turnvoers before Royalty's drive broke the Lady Bearcats' back.
Milam, who led all scorers with 20 points in her final game at Anderson, tried to get her team back in it with a follow at the 41 second mark before Gemmell's long bomb brought the Lady Cats within one possession. Franklin's Ashley Decker took care of things, however, hitting a charity toss with 21.6 seconds to go to put Franklin up 62-58.
Gemmell's three rimmed out and Lindsay Fultz's put back attempt also rimmed out.
Decker led Franklin with 18 points but most importantly, she directed an attack that put the most points up on the Lady Bearcats since North Hardin scored 80 points on Anderson three years to the day before. "Decker was the key," Kays said. "We had to help off the post and she had a nice game and made us pay. She really hurt us."
But Anderson might have also been its own worst enemy, turning the ball over with unforced errors time and again. "We can't turn the ball over and allow them to score," Kays sighed, "and our defense was not as good as it needs to be against a good team."
Franklin County took control early, building a 19-12 lead in the first quarter, but Anderson came back to tie things at 29 before halftime and seemed to be in control before things turned sour.
"We are an experienced club," Kays said. "I am hoping we learned something tonight. We have to keep our emotions in check and get the ball to the right person at the right time. We had several opportunities to score but did not get the ball to the right person.
"It was a lesson for us."
JV loses heart breaker
The Anderson County junior varsity dropped a 42-41 double overtime decision to Franklin in the preliminary. Anderson appeared to have things sewn up twice but could not seal the deal.
Franklin tied things up at the end of regulation with a 3-pointer that Anderson contended should have been ruled a two, then Franklin scored on a put back at the end of the first overtime to send things into another extra period.