Even after two losses to Franklin in the regular season – one at home and one away – the Hillsborough girls’ basketball team felt confident the third time would be the charm.
They headed back to Elizabeth Avenue for a third meeting in the Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals, and got the revenge win.
As fate would have it, they would meet again, a fourth time, this time Thursday night in the state tournament. And after the first eight minutes of play, it looked like Franklin would reassert itself. After all, they have been one of the elite programs in Somerset County for a goodly amount of recent memory under coach Audrey Taylor.
But the 6th-seeded Lady Raiders got back into it, led by two at halftime, and put enough distance between themselves and the Warriors to withstand a fourth quarter rally, hanging on for a 62-57 win over second-seed Franklin.
The victory sets up a North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 title game appearance for Hillsborough (18-8) Monday night in Union County against top-seed Westfield. Game time is set for 7 pm.
Click below to hear postgame reaction from Hillsborough’s semifinal win with head coach Courtney Tierney: