Mental Mistake Dooms Livonia Against Franklin

- Quad-relle Roberts scored 30 points, including a go-ahead three pointer with 27 seconds left, as (4)Franklin upset (1)Livonia 62-58 in the Class B1 semifinals at Victor High School Tuesday night. It was the first and only loss this season for the Bulldogs. 

There was much more to this game following Roberts' game winning shot. Franklin was able to get a steal on Livonia's inbounds pass and Diamante Brown made two free throws to put the Quakers up four. Ricky Allen came back at the other end with a free-throw line jumper and also drew a foul to cut the Quaker lead to 59-58. 

Livonia fouled again, but this time Franklin missed the front end of a 1-and-1. The Bulldogs quickly gathered the rebound and called time out. 

The problem was... they didn't have any. 

Brown went back to the line and drained both technical free throws after the illegal timeout. Franklin inbounded and was fouled again with five seconds left. One final free throw iced the upset. 

Livonia had to pull quite a comeback just to make the finish that interesting. Kendrick Bronson's putback made the score 54-49 Franklin with 2:30 to play, but the Bulldogs answered with six in a row. Cody Cronmiller hit a short fall-away jumper to put Livonia on top by one with just 40 seconds left. Roberts answered quickly with an NBA range three to set up the wild finish. 

Franklin spent most of the second half in a full court press that confounded the Bulldogs and shortened the shot clock. Livonia scored only seven third quarter points and trailed by five heading to the fourth quarter. 

At the offensive end, Franklin head coach Eddie Lee took a page from Jim Boeheim's book. Against Livonia's zone and with a multiple possession lead most of the 4th, Franklin elected to run clock on almost every possession. Most times, the Quakers didn't get into their offense until 15 seconds were left on the 35-second shot clock. 

Julius Coley had nine points for Franklin and Brown finished with seven and 11 assists. 

Allen topped the Bulldogs with 16 points while Cronmiller and Derek DeMartinis added 13 apiece. 

Franklin moves on to face fellow RCAC member (2)Charlotte in Sunday's final. The Lakesiders held off (3)University Prep 84-78 on Tuesday. Tip time is scheduled for 7pm at Blue Cross Arena. 

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