By Lucas Panzica
FRANKLIN, TN – The Dickson County Cougars hit the road on Tuesday night to play the Franklin Rebels, a school whose boys and girls teams both won the Region 6 title last season.
Despite a sloppy start, the Lady Cougars were able to edge out the young Lady Rebels, winning 60-54.
The home team came ready to play, and Franklin jumped out to a five-point lead in the first quarter, clinging onto it at halftime, leading 25-22 at the break. For Dickson County, shots were not falling in the first half, Ryann Roberts provided most of the offensive output with 8 first quarter points.
“They are well-coached, they were ready for us tonight” said Dickson County head coach Erin Webb.
After losing seven seniors from last season’s championship team, Franklin is one of the youngest teams in the district, but their talent certainly makes up for their lack of experience. Freshman Sydney Ryan came into the game averaging 16 points per contest and led the Lady Rebels with 20 on Tuesday.
“It is a pleasure to watch a young athlete play as hard as she (Ryan) did, as composed as she did, as young as she is” said Webb.
“It will be fun to watch her grow, but man it’s not going to be fun to try to handle her for the next three years.”
Things started clicking for the Lady Cougars in the second half, finishing the third quarter with a 20-4 run powered by junior Olivia Rinehart and senior Ryann Roberts. They each led Dickson County in scoring with 18 points apiece.
Franklin got back within striking distance in the final period, but time ran out for the defending region champs as Dickson County walked away with the 60-54 victory.
The Lady Cougars improve to 13-3 overall, and 6-1 in District 11 with the win, while the Lady Rebels fall to 8-9 (3-4).
When the boy’s teams took the floor after the girls’ game, it was up and down action right out of the gate. Franklin, a team that had been averaging over 69 points per game coming in, scored 21 first quarter points. The Cougars, however, were able to largely keep pace with 15 points.
It was in the second quarter that the two teams started to separate, as Franklin star senior Reese Glover scored 12 first half points to put the Rebels up 43-27 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Franklin lead rose up to 18, and it appeared the Rebels would cruise to their fifth district win. Dickson County was not done, however. The Cougars held Glover to 2 third quarter points coming from free throws and put together a run to cut the lead to three at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We made a really good run in the third period” said Dickson County head coach Jason Tigert, “and then foul trouble was the story of the night.”
Foul trouble certainly hampered the Cougars early on, with Darian Burns and Jaden Davis each picking up 3 first half fouls. Burns fouled out with 8 points in the fourth quarter.
Franklin returned to their first half form in the last eight minutes, ending the game on a 25-7 run to win it, 76-53.
“When we play Dickson, it’s a game of runs” said Franklin head coach Darrin Joines, “we just had the last one.”
Senior Reese Glover recovered with 6 fourth quarter points to lead the team with 20, and the Rebels received some help from senior post player Asharri Haynesworth, who added 17.
DJ Stacy led Dickson County with 21 points but was the only Cougar to score in the fourth quarter. Senior Kody Pardue added 13 points for the Cougars.
Franklin improved to 13-4 (5-1) with the win while Dickson County dropped to 10-6 (4-3). Franklin will stay at home for a game outside of the district against Cane Ridge on Thursday, while the Cougars return to The Hill Friday night to host Summit.