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FHS Basketball Warriors Defeat Hillsborough For Second Time, 66-41

Isaiah Cotton goes up for a shot against a Hillsborough defender during the Warriors’ February 16 game.

Powered by a stingy defense, the Franklin High School boys’ basketball team handed the Hillsborough Raiders another defeat February 16.

The Warriors defeated the Raiders 66-41. If that score sounds a bit familiar, it should; Franklin defeated Hillsborough when the teams first met on January 27 by a score of 66-59.

But unlike that late January game, the Warriors needed no fourth period heroics to seal the deal. Franklin led the entire game, being outscored only in the fourth quarter, when the game’s fate was already sealed.

Franklin got on the board first, when Isaiah Cotton stole the ball in Hillsborough territory and brought it back for a layup.

Later in the first period, Krish Mistry hit a three-pointer from the corner to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 4:26 left.

The rest of the first and beginning of the second periods were pretty much all Franklin. Franklin had managed to work up an 18-8 lead with 5:25 left in the first half when Cameron Snowden’s tip-in boosted the lead to 20-8.

With just over two minutes left in the half, Mistry stole the ball off Hillsborough’s put-in and converted with a quick layup, giving Franklin a 26-13 lead.

But the Warriors weren’t done.

When Anthony Milligan missed a layup with about 57 seconds left in the half, Cotton went airborne for the putback, giving the Warriors a 28-13 lead with57 seconds left in the half.

The Warriors went into the locker room owning a 34-15 lead, after Joshua Kuroda-Grauer powered in with a layup, drew the foul and converted the and-one.

Cotton kicked off the second half much like he started the game, opening teh scoring for the Warriors and giving the team a 36-15 lead.

Cotton scored again when Snowden stole the ball down court, brought in in himself but missed the layup. Cotton made teh putback, giving the Warriors a 43-24 lead with little more than four minutes left in the third period.

The Warriors hit the 50-point mark when Milligan, fouled on a layup, converted the and-one, giving Franklin a 50-22 lead with a little over two minutes left in the third period.

Eluwa gave the Warriors a 59-33 lead with 5:02 left in the game when he connected on both ends of a one-and-one bonus shot.

Milligan led the Warriors with 13 points. Snowden scored 12 points and Eluwa contributed 10 points.

Cotton scored nine points, Mistry scored seven, Kuroda-Grauer scored five points, and Josh Mingledolph and Bryson Henry each scored four points.

Mike Williams contributed two points to the winning effort.

Warriors’ Head Coach Tony Mento said the team, is bouncing back nicely from being off for two weeks, due to a COVID-19 quarantine.

Defense, he said, is the “first thing that goes” after a layoff like that.

“This is the second game where I think we’re finally getting our legs underneath us overall,” he said. “We had a two-week quarantine, then we had two games right away with not much practice, but the rotations defensively, being in shape and communication, that’s the first thing that goes when you have a layoff.”

“The offense tends to come back a little quicker, not shooting, but offense,” he said. “This is the second game in a row now where we’ve held teams to pretty poor shooting percentages.”

“We need to rebound the ball a lot better, but I think we did a good job defensively,” Mento said.

Overall, Mento said, “This was a good night for us.”

With the win, Franklin moves to 3-1 for the season, while Hillsborough drops to 1-4.

Here are some scenes from the game:

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