Warriors Fight, But Finally Fall To Rutgers Prep, 67-60

‘Scuse Me While I Sky – Franklin Warrior Ikenna Eluwa takes to the air as he looks to pass the ball during the Warriors’ February 20 game against Rutgers Prep.

It all came down to the fourth period.

The Franklin High School basketball Warriors spent most of the previous three frames fighting back from deficits of as much as 10 points, but some late-game heroics spurred by Anthony Milligan knotted the game at 43 each when the buzzer sounded at the end of the third period.

And while they did take the lead for a while in that final frame, the Warriors spent most of it playing catch-up.

In the end, a lack of defensive rebounding by Franklin, some untimely fouls by the Warriors and timely foul shooting by the Argonauts gave the Warriors’ cross-town rivals a 67-60 victory.

The game began slowly, with the first points – a layup by Cameron Snowdon – not being scored until nearly two minutes had elapsed.

Also contributing to the scoring in that frame were Milligan and Ikenna Eluwa. When the period ended, Franklin held on to a 9-8 lead.

The Argonauts came alive in the second period, outscoring Franklin 20-14 to take a 28-23 lead into the locker room.

Rutgers Prep had built as much as a 10-point lead in the second period, but the feisty Warriors fought back.

With the Warriors down 24-14 with two minutes left in the half, Krish Mistry hit a three-pointer from the corner.

Mistry struck again on the next play, stealing the ball in Argonauts territory and bringing it back and scoring, getting fouled in the process.

A successful and-one by Mistry put the Warriors down by four, 24-20, with 1:54 left in the half.

With less than a minute left in the half, Milligan drove in hard and scored, bringing the Warriors to within two, 24-22.

Sharp foul shooting by Rutgers Prep padded their lead to 28-23.

Both teams traded baskets through the third period, with the score 38-33 in teh Argonauts’ favor with just under three minutes left.

Milligan scored on a hard baseline drive, cutting Rutgers Prep’s lead to 38-35 with 2:55 left in the period.

With Rutgers Prep ahead, 41-35, Josh Kuroda-Grauer fed Snowdon in the paint and the sophomore converted, bringing the Warriors to within four, 41-37.

Milligan hit one of his four three-pointers, this from the far corner, bringing the Warriors to within three, 43-40, with 1:31 left in the period.

Milligan again got the ball in the far corner and converted, tieing the game at 43 with 1:10 left.

That was the situation when the teams returned to the court for the fourth period.

Kuroda-Grauer put the Warriors up 45-43 after converting both ends of a two-shot foul shot.

The Argonauts tied, and then went ahead, 46-45, after the Warriors gave Rutgers Prep three bites at the apple with 6:30 left in the game.

Kuroda-Grauer got mauled while going in for a layup, then converted the free-throws to tie the game at 47 with 6:16 left.

Argonauts jumped ahead with a three-pointer, but Milligan wasn’t finished and answered that with a three-pointer of his own to tie the game at 50 once again with 5:50 left.

With the Warriors trailing by two, Milligan hit his fourth three-pointer, giving the Warriors a 53-52 lead with 5:10 left.

Down 55-52, Milligan once again connects, bringing the Warriors to within one, 55-54, with 3:49 left.

In the next two minutes, the Argonauts outscored the Warriors, 5-1, leading 60-55 with just under two minutes left.

The Warriors had come back to within two, 62-60 – with help from Cotton and Milligan – with 34 seconds left in the game when they were once again stung by their own late-game fouls and sharp foul shooting by the Argonauts, who padded their lead for the final time by five more points.

With the loss, the Warriors even out their season at 3-3.

Here are some scenes from the game:

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