SOMERSET, NJ - The Warriors opened the season on the road Friday night by avenging three losses to Hunterdon Central last season. The Warriors had a similar, perhaps more daunting test Monday afternoon at home.

The Warriors matched defending North 2 Group III champ Colonia for the bulk of the game before faltering in the second half, losing 63-54. Colonia is 4-0.

“The reason why we schedule games like this early is obviously because our conference (Skyland Delaware) is tough enough,  we went out and had a big game the other night with Hunterdon Central, then playing the defending section champ was a good start for us,” said Warriors’ coach Tony Mento, whose team went 15-11 last season. “We are a rather young team. We graduated a lot, so we are young and we look at this as a good learning experience.

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“The other night we took a lead and Central came at us and we held them off, here they (Colonia) took a lead and we had to fight back,” added Mento. “These are all things that are part of the process.”

The Warriors fell behind 12-4, then 15-6 in the first quarter before Tracy Brown’s long three capped the first to cut the deficit to 19-16. Another Brown three tied it at 21 with 6:15 left in the half. Franklin went ahead 29-25, but Colonia forced a 29-29 tie at the break.

Franklin rallied to take a 40-37 lead late in the third on Brown’s steal and bucket and an Alao Oluwaden basket. But a Colonia 3-pointer gave it a 42-40 lead after three.

Franklin trailed 42-41 with seven minutes to play, but a 8-0 Colonia run was the difference.

“What I liked was our ability to fight back and our willingness not to quit at the end,” said Mento. “We liked what we saw.”

Brown had a team-high 15 points. Junior Jordan Derkack led Colonia with 19 points and eight assists.

Franklin will play Hanover Park Friday at 1 p.m. at Newton High School in the Rt. 206 Holiday Challenge.

TAPinto Franklin/Somerset is independently owned and operated by  Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate. 

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