|Eagles advance in tournament with ease|
Franklin County’s Devin Clements (40) grabs a rebound in front of teammate Max Harper (13) and Brookville’s Josh Mason (00) during the fourth quarter of Thursday’s 75-48 Eagles’ triumph in the quarterfinals of the Northside Invitational. (Staff Photo by Steven Marsh)
Friday, December 28, 2012
By STEVEN MARSH - Sports Editor
ROANOKE -- Franklin County's boys' varsity basketball team stayed undefeated in the quarterfinals of the Northside Invitational Thursday and with its latest opening-round triumph in the 14th annual event, the Eagles have matched their victory total from a year ago.
Paced by Ethan Adams' game-best 18 points, FCHS (9-1) stayed in pursuit of its first tournament championship since 2007 with a 75-48 pounding of Brookville (0-6) in the first of four games played in the varsity division.
FCHS plays William Byrd in today's first semifnal at 6 p.m. At 7:45 p.m., E.C. Glass takes on Northside in the semifinals.
The Eagles, winners of two straight games, are 10-0 in quarterfinal-round games in the Northside Invitational.
But, they've lost in each of the last three title games: once to host Northside and twice to Christiansburg, which is not in this year's eight-team field.
"We'd love to win this tournament. We got to the finals last year, we had a shot at winning, but we didn't quite get it done,' FCHS head coach Lloyd Church said. "But, first, we've got to get to the finals. That game (today) will be tough.'
Of course with two more victories would enable the Eagles to take an 11-1 mark into next week's Western Valley District opener at home against two-time reigning league champion Patrick Henry.
"Our record going into next week is going to be 0-0,' Church said. "Our first district game is next Wednesday and it's very important to get off to a good start.'
FCHS led its match-up against the Bees of the Group AA Seminole District from wire-to-wire, and for the fifth time this season, it held an opponent to fewer than 50 points.
The Eagles surged to a 9-0 lead and was ahead 23-10 after the opening quarter. The spread at intermission was 19 points, 40-21.
Church employed 10 of his 11 available players in the opening stanza and seven of those scored. By game's end, 10 players had netted points.
"We were very unselfish. I was pleased with how we moved the ball on offense, and at times, we played very hard on defense,' Church said. "...The No. 1 thing that stood out was how unselfish we were on offense. We did a good job moving the ball, working the ball and as a result of that we got some great shots.
The Eagles swished eight 3-pointers: three by Josh Blankenship (11 points), two each by Bradley Parcell (10 points) and Travis Bennett and one by Adams.
Ryan Glaize led Brookville with 15 points. Eight other players scored. The Bees hit two 3-pointers.