With too many ties and lead changes to count, Franklin and 9th-ranked Watchung Hills waged an epic battle Tuesday night. Neither team led by more than six points at any point of the game, and even that came early when Franklin got out to an 8-2 lead.
It was a low-scoring affair, but the kind of slugfest that could only truly be enjoyed by someone without a horse in that race. Otherwise, it was an Alka-Seltzer type of night.
In the second-half, big three-balls swung momentum like the biggest of pendulums. There was Brian Zhang of Watchung Hills, the junior who scored all of his 11 points after the break, with three triples. Junior Jake Novielli had two treys, until Franklin got the ball with under 40-seconds to play, tied up at 41 all.
Running some time down, Novielli found himself open in the right coffin corner, and buried his third triple of the half, second of the final quarter. Franklin 44, Hills 51.
Then, Zhang found himself with a chance to send it to OT with just a few seconds left from the left corner. But his shot was off, and the rebound not far enough to give Watchung another chance at a three-ball. Ball game over.
Click below to listen to the final sequence, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio:
The win snapped a five-game win streak for Watchung Hills (8-2), but will have them fired up when they take on first-place and No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s Thursday night. For Franklin, the win was a major resume builder come seeding time for the Somerset County Tournament, putting them at 3-2 in league play, 5-4 overall.
Click below for postgame reaction on the air with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino: