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Franklin Regional hoops claws its way to victory

| Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 2:10 p.m.

A pair of wins Friday night makes this week much more meaningful for Franklin Regional's basketball programs.

The Panthers swept a Section 2-AAAA doubleheader at Woodland Hills, as the girls team won the opener, 58-46, and the boys team led the finale throughout, 55-49. For the Franklin Regional boys (7-6, 2-4), it was the first true road win of the season — FR did have two neutral-court wins in December — and the victory pushed the team back within striking distance of the playoff spots in its section.

“It was nice to get a road win in the section. I was happy to see us find a way to win a game without shooting the ball well,” Franklin Regional coach Brad Midgley said. We did an excellent job holding onto a single-digit lead for most of the game and handling any kind of run they tried to go on.”

As the scoring wasn't at its best for the Panthers against Woodland Hills (4-9, 0-6), contributions in other facets of the game shone brightly.

“We got a really nice, aggressive performance from Tyler Hamilton,” Midgley said. “George Brown really stepped up as well, and he rebounded as good as he has all year.

“I really feel that a road win in the section was the next necessary step in the development of this young team.”

The Panthers were scheduled for two shots at more section road wins this week. FR was scheduled to travel to Plum on Tuesday, after this edition's deadline, in a matchup of teams that were two games out of a playoff spot.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., Franklin Regional travels to Central Catholic, the fourth-place team in the section entering this week. The game is a rematch of a 10-point loss on Dec. 16, a game in which the Panthers were tied with the Vikings with less than two minutes remaining.

FR's girls team (7-4, 3-2) solidified its hold on a playoff spot with balanced scoring that was led by a pair of 11-point performances from Maggie Kimmich and Hanna Wagner. That balance overcame a 20-point night by Delrika Jones-Carey..

With no girls game this Friday when the boys play Central Catholic, the only game for the FR girls this week is the first game of the doubleheader against Plum on Tuesday, after this edition's deadline. The Panthers' next game is a nonsection contest at home against Greensburg Salem on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

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