SOMERSET/WARREN, N.J. -- The Franklin High School boys and girls basketball teams both played in the quarterfinals of their respective states tournaments on Thursday.
The third-seeded girls, who are ranked No. 18 in the latest NJ.com Top 20 poll, defeated 11th-seeded Hunterdon Central, 38-25, at home while the eighth-seeded boys fell to top-seeded and the Garden State’s No. 9 team according to NJ.com, Watchung Hills, 88-47, in Warren.
For the Lady Warriors (21-5), who have rebounded from a loss to Watchung Hills themselves in the semifinals of the Somerset County Tournament, have held each of their first two opponents in the postseason to a combined 40 points.
Against Hunterdon Central (14-16) which had been playing its best basketball of the season winning 10 of its previous 12 games since the calendar flipped to February, Franklin’s Onoseta Ufuah netted a game-high 20 points. She made three 3-pointers while also getting to the foul line and knocking down seven free throws to go along with two other buckets.
Keona Schenck and Kyierah Dempsey-Toney each added six points while Gissell Gamble had four and Kennady Schenck chipped in with two.
The Lady Warriors led 20-12 at halftime.
Hunterdon Central was paced by Jessica Mastriano, who scored 13 points.
With the win, Franklin will take on second-seeded Bayonne, ranked No. 11 in the state, in the semifinals on Saturday in Bayonne. The two teams met a year in the playoffs with the Lady Warriors winning 70-38 to capture the sectional title. Keona Schenck scored 24 points in that one.
The Bees will surely bring their stingers over the weekend as they hope to get some revenge.
On the boys side, Watchung Hills (24-4), which advanced to the SCT final a couple of days ago, again jumped out to a big lead like it did in the Warriors’ previous two wins over Franklin this season.
Watchung Hills led 25-11 after the first quarter and 45-20 at halftime.
Trevor Bokach tallied 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals while Michael Bressler drained five 3-pointers on his way to 19 points. He also had four rebounds and nine assists. Pat Stefurak also recorded 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a block while Elijah Lewis notched 12 points, five boards, and three assists. Chat Martini also had six points and eight boards.
For Franklin (14-14), Tracy Brown finished with a team-high 14 points, including 12 on four 3-pointers. Edward Turay and Cameron Snowden added seven and six more points, respectively. Joshua Kuroda-Grauer contributed five points, Demi Also had four, Isaiaah Cotten and Anthony Milligan each had three, and Krish Mistry and Rajah Wilcox both had two.
Watchung Hills will take on fourth-seeded Westfield on Saturday in the semifinals.
This season, Brown led the team in scoring with 315 points including 66 triples. He also had 36 assists, 38 rebounds, and 20 steals. Milligan was a close second in the points department with 313 with 143 rebounds, 28 steals, 20 assists, and 18 blocks.Kuroda-Grauer finished with 183 points, 162 boards, 109 assists, five blocks, and 53 steals while Turay had 190 points, 114 rebounds, 24 assists, 23 blocks, and 24 steals. Cotten totaled 162 points, 79 boards, 23 assists, 36 steals, and 16 blocks and Alao scored 133 points, grabbed 73 rebounds, dished out 37 assists, blocked 16 steals, and notched 27 steals.
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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