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

William Fleming stymies Eagles’ upset bid

Friday, February 1, 2013

ROANOKE -- Paced by a 20-10 third-quarter run, William Fleming moved within a game of clinching the Western Valley District championship Tuesday night by besting Franklin County, 61-55, in a boys' varsity basketball contest.

The Colonels (6-1 in the WVD,16-4 overall) defeated the Eagles (1-5 in the WVD, 13-6 overall) for the second time this season. The victory is their fifth in a row in district play.

If William Fleming defeats cross-city WVD rival Patrick Henry (4-2 in the WVD, 16-3 overall) tonight, it will clinch the championship and the district's top seed in the Northwest Region tournament.

George Washington-Danville (6-2 in the WVD 16-2 overall), a 79-71 winner over Patrick Henry Tuesday would pull into a first-place tie with a Patriots' win tonight, and should PH win tonight and next week over FCHS, there would be a three-way deadlock at the summit of the standings.

FCHS, which is 2-5 after an 11-1 start, sits in fourth place and can lock up the No. 4 seed by defeating Halifax County (0-7 in the WVD) tonight in its home regular-season finale.

Of course, if FCHS were to drop its last two games, it would be forced to earn that No. 4 seed in a play-in game against Halifax. Such was the case a year ago and the Comets conquered the Eagles on their home floor.

Tuesday, the Eagles led 9-8 after the first quarter, but they were outscored by 14 points, 41-27, in the middle two stanzas.

William Fleming won the second period, 21-17, to lead by three points, 29-26, at intermission. Then, the Colonels doubled the Eagles' third-quarter points total in winning the quarter 20-10 to push the spread to 13, 49-36.

William Fleming led by 16 points, 42-26, at one point in the third quarter, but FCHS rallied to five, 50-45, with 1:37 left.

FCHS would win the final stanza 19-12, but William Fleming netted 11 of those points to 10 by the Eagles in the last 1 1/2 minutes.

William Fleming sophomore Warren Craft, who made a non-binding verbal commitment to Virginia Tech as a freshman last year, netted 28 points to lead all scorers. He tallied 17 of those points in the opening half.

Craft converted 11 field goals, including one 3-pointer, and was 5 of 7 (71.4 percent) from the free-throw line.

William Dungee, who scored 26 points in the Colonels' 11-point win in Rocky Mount, and Shalik Law each tallied 10 points and each swished two threes.

Three other players scored for William Fleming, which made 20 total field goals and was 16 of 25 (64 percent) from the free-throw line.

The Eagles, who have lost three district games at home and three on the road this season, placed four players in double figures and got points from three other players.

FCHS converted 18 field goals, eight of which were 3-pointers, and was 11 of 15 (73.3 percent) from the free-throw line.

Josh Blankenship paced the Eagles with 14 points. Ray Witcher tallied 11 and Devin Clements and Ethan Adams each scored 10.

Also scoring were Max Harper with four and Bradley Parcell and Troy Lambert each with three.

Blankenship, FCHS's top 3-point marksman, swished three treys. Clements drilled two and Witcher, Parcell and Lambert each hit one.

Tonight's game tips off at Samuel M. Hawkins-Central Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. A freshman game opens the tripleheader at 4:30 p.m., followed by the junior varsity contest at 6 p.m. FCHS will honor seniors Witcher, Clements, Harper and Lambert at the game.

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