FHS Lady Warriors Make History Again, Win Somerset County Championship

FHS Lady Warrior Diamond Miller, seen here in action earlier this season against Rutgers Prep, powered Franklin to its first Somerset County championship Feb. 23. (File photo).

The Franklin High School Lady Warriors basketball team crossed “county championship” off its to-do list Feb. 24 after a drubbing of crosstown rival Rutgers Prep.

And they made made history in the process.

The Lady Warriors took the program’s first-ever Somerset County Championship with the 68-49 victory over the Argonauts at home. It was also the first time a public school won the county championship in 12 years.

Junior Diamond Miller led all players with 32 points, bringing her even closer to being the school’s all-time leading scorer. (That’s both boys and girls.)

Franklin lost to Rutgers Prep both times the teams played this season, with the difference being two points in the season opener and four points the second time the teams met.

It looked as though that trend might continue in the county finals, with Franklin down by as many as 13 points in the first quarter.

But a 22-point run through the first two quarters, and some stiffened defense, left the Lady Warriors with a slim 29-26 lead at halftime.

Rutgers Prep “went on a run early, and I had to call a time out, get the girls a little better composed and start playing better defense,” head coach Audrey Taylor said. “Once we started playing better defense, we started to really click on offense.”

What did she tell them during that time-out?

“Just to relax, take a deep breath and what we had to do defensively,” she said. “We weren’t doing what we had to do defensively.”

And click they did, outscoring Rutgers Prep 21-9 in the third quarter and 18-14 in the fourth, securing the win and the history making championship.

“It was our second half that made the difference,” Taylor said. “We came out the second half, we made some stops, we were able to execute, go on the other side and convert.”

“I think our energy and our confidence kind of picked up from there,” she said. “And after that, it was just a matter of us going on a run, and we stopped them from scoring. After that, it was all in our hands.”

Taylor ascribed the early game difficulties to a case of the nerves.

“You always start a little nervous, especially when you want something so bad” she said. “So they started out nervous, but eventually they got into it. It was good.”

What’s Next: The Lady Warriors start their defense of their state championship on Feb. 27 at home against East Orange. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m.


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