WAKE FOREST — Franklin Academy found itself overmatched Thursday as the Patriots hosted the Frankston Blues, a high-school all-star team of sorts from Australia.
“We had to overcome a lot of the size difference, so after about four minutes of a man-to-man we jumped into a two-three zone,” Franklin Academy coach Erin Thornton said. “We’ve never run (the zone) all year long, but we just had to. We were clearly overmatched, but I think overall (our players) responded well to the defense, so I was happy with that.”
Down 27-6 at halftime, Franklin started the second half with a 6-2 run while forcing turnovers on Frankston’s first three possessions.
“We talked about how we couldn’t come back in one possession,” Thornton said of her halftime locker room speech. “It was going to take one stop and one score and we had to chip away at it. They responded and did well. They gave me a lot of effort, and that’s all I can expect.”
Despite a valiant third-quarter effort, Franklin couldn’t keep up with the Blues’ crisp fast break execution, clean passing and hot shooting. The Patriots fell 55-22.
Senior captain Catie Keel led Franklin Academy (13-2) with six points and three steals.
She leads the team in scoring for the season with 8.9 points and 3.5 steals per game, and fellow captain Amelia Huffman chips in 8.5 points per game, as Franklin Academy turns its attention back to conference play.
The Patriots were 3-0 in the North Central Athletic Conference heading into the week before beginning an 11-conference game schedule Tuesday, which will span the remainder of the regular season.
At the beginning of the season, Thornton said the Patriots set two team goals, which include having a 20-win season and making it past the third round of the state playoffs for the first time in school history.
“We’re headed toward what we wanted to do,” Thornton said. “We have a huge conference stretch coming up. We’re really getting into the meat of our season now, so we’ll see how we’ve prepped in our nonconference, but I’m really pleased with how they’re coming along.”