BAYONNE, NJ - The Franklin High School girls basketball team, the defending state Tournament of Champions winner, acted as such as the third-seeded Warriors defeated second-seeded Bayonne, 69-42, in the semifinals of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 tournament on Saturday.
Franklin, which is ranked No. 18 in the NJ.com Top 20, never trailed against No. 11 Bayonne, and with the win, it will play either top-seeded and No. 17 Watchung Hills or fourth-seeded Ridge in an all-Somerset County matchup, on Monday, March 9. Those two teams play Saturday evening.
The Warriors led just three points at 16-13 at the end of the first quarter and by four at halftime, 30-26.
But after the break, Franklin started off the third quarter on a 9-0 run to up its lead to 39-26, and brought a 48-31 advantage heading into the fourth. Franklin outscored Bayonne 39-16 in the final two frames.
Twins Keona and Kennady Schenck, two seniors, led the way with 24 and 19 points, respectively. Keona drained four 3-pointers and made the Bees’ home court feel like her own. She also grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists.
Keona opened the game with a 3-pointer and she and her team never looked back.
Kennady made three triples with five other baskets. She pulled down four rebounds and had two assists as well. She missed a ton of games this season due to injury, but her being back gives Franklin a lift.
Gissell Gamble added 13 points while Onoseta Ufuah recorded nine points and 10 rebounds for Franklin. Kyierah Dempsey-Toney didn’t score, but she made a difference with five rebounds and two blocks.
Those three, and others, have stepped up throughout the season.
For Bayonne, Eniya Scott netted 21 points with six rebounds and three assists and Makoye Diawara finished with eight points and a whopping 22 rebounds. Jolyssa Moody tallied 10 points as well as she reached double figures.
Last year, Franklin, which went undefeated at 34-0, defeated Bayonne in the N2G4 final, 70-38, for its third straight title. Monday, the Warriors will be going for four championships in a row and sixth in seven years. They’ve made the final six years in a row.
Earlier this season, Franklin topped Ridge on the road by 13 while it lost two of three games (both at home) to Watchung Hills including in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals, 51-47.
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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