Lions End Indians Season with Overtime Buzzer Beater

Braxden Strickland scored all 5 of his points in the overtime period, including a layup before the final buzzer, and Franklin County defeated Stephens County 54-53 in overtime Tuesday night in the Region-8 AAA boys quarterfinals in Watkinsville.

Stephens County led by as many as nine points in the 4th quarter, but the Lions work on the boards gave them a brief lead before the Indians DJ Hampton’s bucket tied the score with seven seconds to go in regulation.

Indians senior Kenny Colwell’s bucket gave Stephens County a one point lead in the overtime period with less than 30 seconds to go, but the Lions Micah Swint recovered a loose ball and made the pass to Strickland for the winning score.

Keylon Rutledge scored 19 points and JoJo Hughes scored 16 to lead the Lions who improve to 12-11 on the season.

Colwell led the Indians with 19 points and Corey Ritchie added 11.

The loss ends the season for the Indians who finish with a record of 10-12.

The Indians have 4 seniors that played their final high school game. Those seniors are: Kenny Colwell, Zhy Perry, Dominic Forbes, and Javian Hightower.

Franklin County will now advance to the Region semi-finals at Hart County on Thursday night and also earn a bid to the state playoffs next week.

Earlier this week Region-8 announced the All-Region team which included two Indians: Colwell and Tyrece Mackie. Hampton, Richie, and Kairon “Moochie” Morrison received honorable mention. Hart County’s Shone Webb and Monroe Area’s Derrick Brown were named Co-players of the year.

On the girls side, Stephens County’s Ranajah Verdell was Co-player of the year, and NaNa Eades and KiKi Howard received All-Region honors. Savana Broska and Brianna Taylor were named honorable mention.

The Lady Indians will be in action Wednesday night in the Girls Region-8 semi-final at Currahee Arena as the #1 seed in the tournament and will host Oconee County at 7:30 P.M. Franklin County and East Jackson will meet in the first game of the evening at 5 P.M.

WNEG will broadcast the Stephens-Oconee game with airtime set for 7:15 P.M.