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Originally published December 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Page modified December 21, 2013 at 6:52 PM

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Franklin holds off Bainbridge, 66-63

No matter what Bainbridge tried in the second half, however, Franklin’s Keith Smith looked like he was shooting in an open gym, leading Class 3A No. 6 Franklin to a 66-63 win Friday.


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Tight perimeter defense by Bainbridge Island yielded a three-point halftime lead for the Spartans.

No matter what they tried in the second half, however, Franklin’s Keith Smith looked like he was shooting in an open gym, leading Class 3A No. 6 Franklin to a 66-63 win Friday.

Smith, a 6-foot-6 sophomore guard, drained six jumpers in the third quarter when Bainbridge Island loosened its outside grip. In the fourth quarter, Smith repeatedly drove to the hoop and got to the foul line often, making 11 of 13 shots. Smith finished with 34 points — including 28 in the second half.

“It’s something that he’s been working on, driving hard, pulling up,” Franklin coach Craig Jackson said. “He should be able to jump over most guys guarding him and then when you put a bigger guy on him, he should get around him with his ball handling.”

Franklin (5-0, 4-0 Metro Conference) struggled to get any offensive rhythm in the second quarter, scoring just six points. Bainbridge Island’s 6-foot-9 Oskar Dieterich controlled the boards and stifled the Quakers’ star big man, senior Eugene Artison.

An 8-0 Bainbridge run to start the second quarter pulled the Spartans (4-1, 2-1) to 19-17. They kept the momentum and took a 28-25 halftime lead.

Blake Swanson had 11 points, including two three-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep Bainbridge in the game and the Spartans tied the score at 54 with 2:19 remaining when a Bainbridge Island bucket was followed by a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct on Franklin.

Artison made a smooth up-and-under jump shot with 1:19 to give Franklin a 58-54 lead and Smith clinched the win in the final minute by making several free throws.

Artison was averaging 21.8 points per game coming into Friday, but was held to eight points and four rebounds.

Smith has been offered a scholarship by both Washington and California.

“They’re tagging [Smith] as one of the best sophomores. I think the tag should come off,” Jackson said. “I think he’s just one of the best players in the state.”

Swanson finished with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead the Spartans.



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