HAMILTON, N.J. -- The holiday season is a time for presents and family, but it’s also a time for high school hoops tournaments all across the state of New Jersey.
This past weekend, the Franklin girls basketball team participated in the ESCIT Tournament held at Trenton Catholic and the Warriors (3-1), ranked No. 8 in the preseason NJ.com Top 20, made it to the championship round where they fell to the hosts, which are ranked No. 2, 64-42, on Sunday afternoon.
It was Franklin’s first loss since March, 18, 2018 in the Tournament of Champions final. Franklin went 34-0 last season en route to a T of C title and started out this year with three wins, including one on Friday against Mater Dei in the first round of the tournament, 67-32.
In the championship game versus the Iron Mikes, Franklin and Trenton Catholic went back and forth in the first quarter, but the home team took control by outscoring the Warriors by 12. The Iron Mikes led by at most 21 in the third.
However, Franklin, stormed back and cut its deficit to 48-41, but Trenton Catholic ended the game - the final four minutes or so - on a 16-1 run to widen the gap.
Zoe Brooks led the way with 20 points for the Iron Mikes while Aalayah Del Rosario notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Giana Boulden and Maniya Custis chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively, as well. Ciara Bailey also had eight points.
Trenton Catholic out-rebounded Franklin, 35-22, and held the opposition to just nine points and two field goals in the second frame.
For the Warriors, Keona Schenck netted four 3-pointers on her way to a team-best 15-point performance. Gissell Gamble added nine points, Kennady Schenck recorded seven, and Kyierah Dempsey-Toney and Onoseta Ufuah each scored five apiece.
Friday, Franklin earned a date with Trenton Catholic, which topped Trinity Hall in its first round matchup, by more than doubling up Mater Dei.
Kennady Schenck dropped a game-high 23 points on the Seraphs while twin sister Keona scored 16. Gamble and Dempsey-Toney both deposited eight points apiece as well. The Warriors led 30-12 at halftime.
Mater Dei was led by Shelby Barkesdale, who scored 19 points.
The girls resume action on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at No. 18 Gill St. Bernard’s in Gladstone before finally returning home on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7:00 p.m. to play Bridgewater-Raritan.
The Franklin boys basketball team is playing in the Route 206 Challenge at Newton and is in the championship game on Monday (Dec. 30) against Roxbury at 2:30 p.m. Stay tuned.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.
TAPinto Franklin/Somerset is independently owned and operated by Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate.
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