Lions defeat Hart for third time to reach region title game

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The Franklin County Lions completed a season sweep of the rival Hart County Bulldogs Friday night and will play Saturday for the Region 8AAA championship.

  • Titus Brown shoots a free throw during Franklin County's 70-65 win over Hart County Friday in the Region 8AAA Tournament semifinals.
    Titus Brown shoots a free throw during Franklin County's 70-65 win over Hart County Friday in the Region 8AAA Tournament semifinals.
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The Franklin County Lions completed a season sweep of the rival Hart County Bulldogs Friday night and will play Saturday for the Region 8AAA championship.

The Lions’ 70-65 victory in the region tournament semifinals at Emmanuel College also earned Franklin County a home game in the first round of the state AAA tournament, which begins next week.

Franklin will play Jefferson Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at Emmanuel in the championship game.

The Lions used a dominant second and third quarters to pull away from the Top 10-ranked Bulldogs.

Franklin outscored Hart 43-24 in the middle two quarters to turn a 13-9 deficit into a 52-37 advantage.

Defensive stops and fast break points helped fuel Franklin County’s run.

Seniors Titus Brown and Micah Roebuck led the way offensively during the run.

Brown had 20 of his 31 points in the second and third quarters, while Roebuck added 10 of his 17.

Titlan Wells and JoJo Hughes added strong defensive play and rebounding.

Hart County made a final run in the fourth quarter to tighten the score thanks to drives to the basket, free throws and some three pointers in the last few minutes.

Coach Jason Shaver said he was pleased with how hard his team played, crediting his entire team for the win.

The Lions had players step up after foul trouble early in the game, the coach said.

The closeness of the team really showed in the game, Shaver said.

“These guys love each other one through 17,” the coach said.

The game was played in front of a capacity crowd at Emmanuel College’s Williamson Basketball Arena.

Franklin’s win was the second in a week, after the Lions defeated Hart in overtime last Friday in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Lions Den.

Franklin and Jefferson split their regular season contests, with each team winning on its home court.