May 23, 2018

Team effort lifts Braves to 67-56 upset over Red Devils

(Franklin) — The Braves varsity basketball team notched one of their biggest wins in four years Monday night as a team effort propelled the squad to a 67-56 win over visiting region rivals the Bowdon Red Devils.

The game was not even as close as the final score would indicate as a few late baskets by the Devils made the final score closer after the Braves led by 20 with just over a minute to play.

The Braves were led by three different players in double digits including seniors Taylor Smith and Deron Swint with 17 and 16 respectively while junior forward Elijah Toney tallied 14.

The Braves came out early with strong defense holding the Devils to just five first quarter points and entering the second quarter with an 18-5 lead. The Braves remained on top at the break 37-19 and were able to maintain that lead for most of the second half. Several younger players logged valuable minutes in the second half as starters on both teams got into foul trouble.

Head coach Phillip Manning was very pleased with the overall effort by his guys.

“That was probably one of the most complete games we’ve played all year. We played incredible defense throughout the game, especially in that first quarter. It was a total team effort on defense and that’s why it worked so well, ” said Manning.

Senor Taylor Smith led the Braves in scoring Monday night with 17 points including two 3-pointers.

Senor Taylor Smith led the Braves in scoring Monday night with 17 points including two 3-pointers.

“We constantly had five guys on the floor communicating and hustling. This also was probably our best rebounding game of the year.”

Many were surprised by the Braves big win considering the Red Devils were coming off just a four point loss Saturday to one of the top teams in the state Manchester who drubbed the Braves earlier in January 95-39.

 “On offense, I felt like we really played like a team tonight and got into a good flow early. It seemed like the guys had some great chemistry working tonight, and it was fun to watch,” added Manning.

“At the end of the day, we had all of the ingredients you need to win a game: Solid Defense, Rebounding, Winning the Turnover Battle, Making key free throws down the stretch, and an overall positive energy from the whole team.”

Coach Manning’s squad won’t have much time to celebrate the win as they turn right around Tuesday night to host the Bremen Blue Devils. Thanks to the weather in January, the Braves play five games this week in just six nights.

In girls action Monday night the Red Devilettes knocked off the Lady Braves 55-42. The Parks twins led the Lady Braves in scoring as Jemeka scored 18 and Shemeka 11.

In HCMS playoff action the Lady Braves season ended with a 44-31 loss to Bowdon at the middle school tournament in Bowdon. The HCMS boys team will face Mt. Zion in the semi-finals today at Bowdon at 5:00 PM.

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