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|Patriots eliminated in first round|
The Franklin Parish Patriots (22-6) saw their season come to a screeching halt on Friday night when they lost to McDonogh #35 in New Orleans. The 59-52 win by the Roneagles put an end to a very successful season on the court for the Patriots. The Patriots started several sophomores throughout the season and will return some key players from this year's team which finished third in the district and lead the Patriots to their second consecutive 20-win campaign. Under the directon of head coach Wystee Kerry, the Patriots have won 20 or more games and finished in the top half of the district the past two years.
Against McDonogh, the Patriots were facing a small, humid gymnasium in the heart of the city that featured hundreds of rowdy Roneagle fans standing just a foot from the baseline on the court. The Patriots got out to a slow start offensively but controlled the boards on several missed shots by McDonogh #35.
"We just didn't have a good night offensively," FPHS head coach Wystee Kerry said. "We got to the line and made free throws and McDonogh did too. We just missed too many mid-range jump shots."
Franklin Parish could not do quite enough to keep from falling behind as the Roneagles took a 12-8 lead after the first quarter. The second-quarter saw the Patriots still miss some key shots, but played good defense until finally shots began to fall for the Patriots. Franklin Parish used a second-quarter run to keep pace with the Roneagles who lead at halftime, 26-21.
The fourth-quarter played like a repeat performance almost from the third as the Patriots put together some good offensive possessions but did not make enough defensive stops to pull close to the Roneagles. Tyrell Winn keyed the offensive onslaught for the Patriots and lead the team in the end with 15 points. Brandon Sims added 14 points while Roosevelt Walker scored 12 points for the Patriots.
With all three of the main scorers of FPHS hitting in double-figures, the Patriots had to rely on defensive stops to get back in the game. Those did not come, but free throw shooting for the Roneagles did at bad times for the Patriots. FPHS matched McDonogh #35 point for point in the final period of play as each team scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. Five seniors graduate from this year's squad. Captains Brandon Sims and Roosevelt Walker will certainly be missed because of their leadership, scoring, and defensive skills. guards Tevin White, Kedrick Johnson and Marquise McGhee also will have to be replaced. Five juniors including Winn, Wilson Curtis, and Yoxavier Grant, who all logged important minutes in district play, will return for the Patriots.
"We had those guys that played more than just one minute here and there for us this year," Kerry said. "I think we have a good group of guys to build around and continue moving in the right direction."