Charles City wins double overtime thriller to complete home-and-home sweep of Franklin
The narrative of the Charles City Panthers home-and-home series with the Franklin Broncos followed the same script; careless turnovers in the first half, fall behind by double digits in the second half, and rally for the win at the end. In the Jan. 7 clash of the teams, Charles City needed double overtime to complete the feat.
After taking the first game of the series 57-52 on Jan. 5, the hosting Panthers topped Franklin 73-71 to complete the season series sweep of the Broncos.
Similar to their first encounter two nights prior, Franklin wasted little time taking the lead as they jumped out to an 8-0 run to kick off the game. Charles City was able to cut that advantage in half at the intermission break (30-26), but Franklin built that lead back up to eight (39-31) after a Kenaz Jones lay-in.
Charles City made its first run to get back into the contest as freshman Taylor Bey’s lay-in sparked an 8-3 run that was capped off by Kameron Johnson’s trifecta to cut the visitor’s lead to three (42-39). But Bronco wingman Dae’mari Holden’s three-pointer from the top of the key just before the end of the third quarter doubled the guests’ advantage to six.
Charles City continued to inch closer to taking the lead, with Bey’s corner three bringing the hosts within one (47-46). Franklin countered with a 6-0 run and held a 55-48 advantage with 1:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Johnson’s free throw with 1:14 on the clock cut Franklin’s lead to four (55-51). Charles City ramped up the defensive pressure with a full-court press, forcing Bronco guard Jahmajae Bynum to make an errant cross-court pass that was intercepted by Panther sophomore Tayvion Harris. Harris quickly finished the score with a lay-up to trim the lead to two (55-53). Moments later, Harris repeated the feat again to tie the game up. Another crucial turnover by the visitors provided Charles City an opportunity to win in regulation. But Johnson’s floater bounced off the back of the rim, sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, Charles City matched Franklin shot for shot. It wasn’t until the 1:25 mark of the extra period when the Panthers saw their first lead of the night. A steal by guard DelMonta Johnson led to a kickout to Kobie Trull. The Panther senior drained a wing three-pointer to get the host a 60-59 lead.
Not to be outdone, the next trip down the floor saw Holden respond for the Broncos as he drained a trifecta in front of his team’s bench to return the advantage to the guests (62-60).
Franklin regained held a 64-62 advantage when Trull bullied his way to the hole for a lay-in with 12 seconds remaining in the extra period to tie the game again. Franklin pushed the ball down the floor after the basket, but Bey’s steal led to Charles City calling a timeout with 1.2 seconds remaining. A three-point attempt by Johnson at the buzzer fell short, forcing both teams to endure an extra period.
With the scored tied at 69 apiece and less than 30 seconds to go, Charles City was in possession of the ball. A jump shot by Bey caromed off the left side of the rim, but Panther senior Keondre’ Barnes putback bestowed a 71-69 lead in the home team’s favor.
The next trip down the court resulted in Bey bumping Franklin’s Jones, leading to a foul. With the guests in the double bonus situation, the Bronco forward sank both free throws to tie the game at 71 with less than ten seconds to go.
After a Bronco timeout to set-up the defense, Johnson received the inbound pass and crossed from right-to-left on the court. A drive to the basket resulted in the senior guard being fouled by Franklin’s Bynum, leading to two free throw attempts. Johnson calmly sank both shots to give the hosts a 73-71 lead with 2.3 seconds remaining. A last second three-pointer by Franklin’s Jones failed to connect, sealing the victory for the Panthers.
After the contest, Charles City head coach Terrell Brooks praised his younger players as they stepped up their game.
“They made great plays in situational basketball,” the victorious head coach said, pointing to contributions made by Harris and Bey. “I told Tayvion [Harris] that he was going to go in at the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter and was going to leave an imprint on the game.
“His steals and lay-ups put us right back into the game and at the end of the day, we have the ultimate closer in Kameron Johnson,” Brooks continued. “He is resilient and tough. He is built for it. I just wish more people could see him play.”
Johnson’s 34 points propelled Charles City (3-1) in the scoring column. Harris and Bey also finished in double figures with 14 and 11, respectively. Trull tossed in eight, Barnes pitched in with four, and Bryan Lewis Jr. chipped in with two.
Franklin (1-2) was led by Holden’s 26 points and Jones’ 18 points.