September 16, 2021

Braves sweep Tigers in front of raucous home crowd

(Franklin, GA) — The Braves varsity basketball teams swept the Temple Tigers at home Friday night in front of one of the most electric crowds of the season.

The Lady Braves improved to 14-3 on the season with a dominant 65-24 victory while the Braves held on for a close 50-48 win.

The two point win by the Braves was an important one with just eight games on the region slate and was a close see-saw battle throughout the contest.

The Braves led by six after the first quarter before the Tigers bounced back to take a 29-24 lead at halftime.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Braves took a 37-36 lead. Senior Ethan Lawson scored a breakaway basket with 1:30 to play in the game to give the Braves a four point lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the way.

A 3-pointer by the Tigers at the buzzer closed the gap to just two points as time expired.

Senior Ayden Cannon had a big night for the Braves scoring 18 points including seven in the first quarter.

Isaiah O’Neal also finished in double digits once again with 10 points while Jameer Cook score seven and Kahlil Cofield added five.

The Braves return to action this afternoon when they host Central of Carrollton at 4:30 PM in Franklin.

“It feels good to solidly be in second place after knowing we should have beaten Callaway on Tuesday. So now I think our guys have that confidence that if we play as hard as we can I don’t think there’s a team in the region that can beat us,” said Coach Derek Smith after the game.

“The crowd was amazing and I think why we continued to play hard even when some of our guys were gassed,” Smith said.

“When you have that kind of crowd I even just want to get out there and play — the crowd can be the difference between losing a close game and winning a close game. Tonight was what high school basketball is supposed to be like.”

The Lady Braves had no trouble in routing the Lady Tigers to remain a perfect 3-0 in Region 5-AA. The girls built a big 36-14 halftime lead and never looked back with solid defense once again being a primary factor.

Freshman standout Jayden Boykin once again led the scoring with 16 points and junior Zekylah Boyd had another huge night with six points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists.

Senior Sophia Long and sophomore Jasmine Owens also reached double figures with 11 and 10 respectively. Hermonie Garza scored eight and hauled in six rebounds.

Coach Akins had the opportunity to use a lot of her girls off the bench with Mykhia Echols scoring nine and Shyann Kelley scoring seven.

“We are putting ourselves in a good position, but we’ve just got to keep making progress and keeping better,” Akins said after the game.

“Our defense is looking really good and I just love the way these girls are playing so hard. I am just super proud of everybody top to bottom that got in there tonight. Mykhia Echols just balled tonight. This is just a fun group to coach.”

The Lady Braves return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Haralson County for another region game at 6:00 PM.

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