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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Fax: 540-483-8013

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Crockett's career best paces Eagles
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Miranda Crockett
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Friday, January 25, 2013

By STEVEN MARSH - Sports Editor

With two more seasons following her sophomore campaign, Franklin County's Miranda Crockett will have ample opportunities to score 30 points.

Crockett came within a ball dancing on the rim, but opting not to fall through the cylinder from reaching the mark in what was her 44th varsity game Tuesday.

The miss didn't bother Crockett nor did it have an ill-effect on the Eagles as witnessed by their 72-43 rout of Western Valley District rival George Washington-Danville at Samuel M. Hawkins-Central Gymnasium.

FCHS (5-0 in the WVD, 13-4 overall) maintains a one-game lead over reigning league champion William Fleming in the district standings with the victory, its second this season over Danville (3-3 in the WVD, 10-4 overall).

Crockett finished with a career-best 29 points -- she converted 12 field goals with the majority of those coming from point-blank range with several of those coming after offensive rebounds -- and was 5 of 8 from the free-throw line.

Crockett completed a double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds. Also, she collected five steals.

Teammates Zarkia Mattox and Charmaine Hairston also finished in double figures -- Mattox netted 16 points and Hairston tallied 11.

Mattox completed a double-double by pulling down 10 rebounds, and she matched Crockett in steals with five of her own.

Danville's loss overshadowed a team-best 21 points scored by Brona'Za Fitzgerald, who was responsible for 10 of her team's 19 field goals.

Fitzgerald was Danville's lone double-figure scorer.

Each of FCHS's victories over Danville this season is a 29-point decision. Its other league wins have been decided by 39 points (Patrick Henry), 27 points (William Fleming) and 44 points (Halifax County). That's an average of 31.6 points.

Danville was within 10 points, 43-33, at the 4:21 mark of the third quarter. From that point, FCHS outscored the visitors 29-10.

Crockett was a precocious freshman on last year's club which captured its fourth straight WVD postseason tournament title and advanced to the Northwest Region tournament for the fifth consecutive year. As a sophomore, she's a mainstay in the starting line-up and is frequently posting big numbers.

"This year, I think I do feel a lot more confident. Last year, I was just a freshman and happy to be on the varsity,' Crockett said. "I think the team counts on me for a lot of things.'

"It was a great game for Miranda -- she gave 100 percent pure effort,' FCHS head coach Anne Crutchfield said. "She plays hard on both ends of the court...What can you ask from a kid!

"Miranda is something special. There is no one who comes to practice and works harder than she does every day. She has raw, natural ability and she's fun to work with,' Crutchfield said.

Crockett missed two free throws to start the game, then netted half of FCHS's points during a 12-1 early run. The count was 13-3 before Danville rallied to pull within three courtesy of a 7-0 run.

Danville trailed by five points at the end of the first quarter and was down by four 19-15 after a 3-pointer by Khajijah Wilson and 23-19 after she scored again.

FCHS responded with an 11-0, one in which Crockett, Brianna Taylor, Destani Mitchell and Erinn Brooks contributed points.

The Eagles finished the half with a 13-point lead and the spread reached 17, 40-23, after Taylor and Crockett opened the second half with consecutive baskets.

After Danville got to within 10 points, Hairston netted four straight points and when Mattox swished two free throws with 2:30 showing, the count was 49-35. FCHS finished the third quarter with a 16-point lead after Crockett made two free throws and drove to the basket for a deuce with less than a minute left.

Crockett, Mattox and Hairston accounted for 17 of FCHS's 19 fourth-quarter points. Reserve Taylor Greenway scored just before the horn to complete the 29-point rout.

Danville managed only six points in the final period on two Fitzgerald field goals and one by Wilson.

By quarter, FCHS's points output was symmetrical -- the Eagles netted 17 point each in the first and third periods and 19 points each in the second and fourth stanzas.

Fitzgerald was the only Danville player to reach the foul line; she attempted three free throws and made one. FCHS was 14 of 25 from the line.

William Fleming is the Eagles' next district opponent, but before they face the Colonels, they'll entertain a one-loss Highland Springs club Saturday that's a season removed from reaching the semifinals of the Group AAA state tournament.

"Highland Springs is going to be a very tough team. ... Every game we have against William Fleming is tough. No matter who we play, we prepare the same way,' Crockett said.

"I think we've been very fortunate to be where we are (in the WVD). We've managed to be able to play pretty well defensively. We have a huge district game Tuesday against William Fleming and it's here. I think we'll have to have our A-game that night,' Crutchfield said.

The fact that FCHS will play Highland Springs two days before the clash with the Colonels is a positive one, Crutchfield said.

"Highland Springs, for us, is a fact-finding mission for postseason "They are a very, very good team. I had the opportunity to see them play last week. ...We'll have to play extremely well to be able to compete with them on Saturday,' Crutchfield said. "That's the way you want to play every day.

"What better way is there to get ready for the caliber of game that next Tuesday will be,' Crutchfield said.

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BOXSCORE

GW DANVILLE -- 12/11/14/6 -- 43

FRANKLIN COUNTY -- 17/19/17/19 -- 72

GW DANVILLE (43) -- Wilson 3 0-0 8, England 0 0-0 0, Goods 0 0-0 0, Dabney 4 0-0 9, Linder 0 0-0 0, Bradley 0 0-0 0, Martin 1 0-0 3, Hightower 1 0-0 2, Thacker 0 0-0 0, Fitzgerald 10 1-3 21. Totals: 19 1-3 43.

FRANKLIN COUNTY (72) -- Hairston 4 3-4 11, Crockett 12 5-8 29, Mattox 7 2-2 16, Dudley 0 0-0 0, M. Brooks 0 0-0 0, Mitchell 3 2-6 8, Taylor 1 2-4 4, E. Brooks 1 0-0 1 2, Holland 0 0-0 0, Greenway 1 0-0 2. Totals: 29 14-25 72.

Halftime scores: 36-23 Franklin County. Three-point goals: Martin (GW), Dabney (GW), Wilson (GW) 2

 
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