Jason Kerr was livid.
The Franklin High School coach thought his team was playing selfishly.
“We played for the people in the bleachers, the scholarships and whatever else,” Kerr said. “We tell it how it is at Franklin, and that’s exactly what I told them at halftime.”
The third-ranked Quakers went on to make stops, get to the free-throw line and use a big run late to overcome Clover Park for an 82-74 non-league victory Thursday night in the opening round of the Tournament of Champions in Seattle.
Franklin (8-0 overall, 6-0 3A Metro) used a 16-2 fourth-quarter run to survive its toughest test of the season, and hand Clover Park (4-4, 4-1 2A SPSL) a disappointing loss.
But the Quakers didn’t win without Kerr teaching some lessons along the way.
He used a timeout in the first quarter to yell at his team, hoping to spark some energy and focus. When that didn’t work, he forced them to switch to a 2-3 zone, despite having rarely practiced it.
“When I called that, they knew I was mad,” Kerr said.”
Clover Park (ranked No. 7 in 2A) took a 68-61 lead in the fourth quarter when David Crisp pulled up and nailed a shot for the final two of his 30 points.
But Franklin began its run with help from five consecutive trips to the free throw line. The Quakers found themselves ahead 75-70 with less than a minute to go after a putback by Eugene Artison and a turnover that led to a Patrick Ball basket.
“We were just trying to be tough out there in the second half and focus on stops,” said Ball, who led Franklin with 30 points.
It was even tougher for Clover Park, which had its upset bid yanked away at the end.
“Man, we were really looking forward to this game because we felt we weren’t where we were supposed to be in the 2A rankings,” Crisp said. “We felt we could come in, beat Franklin and show people how good we really are. That was such a good team and to be that close to winning and have to fall short – it’s tough.”
Union 71, Lakes 42: The Titans led 19-5 after the first quarter and outscored the Lancers 26-8 in the third. It was Lakes’ most lopsided loss of the season and the Lancers’ third overall after they put together a four-game winning streak.
Foss 69, Grant (Ore.) 61: The Falcons (6-1, 3-0 3A Narrows) shot 54.3 percent from the field (25-for-46) while holding Grant to 39.7 percent (23-for-58).