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SNHS Opens Season
OFFENSIVE LEADER. Miya Bryant (with ball) topped the Southern Nash Ladybirds in scoring during last Wednesday night’s home decision against Franklinton High School. (Graphic photos by Geoff Neville)
STANHOPE -- Playing up one classification level and with a shorthanded roster, the Franklinton Lady Rams were unable to effectively match up Tuesday night against the host Southern Nash Ladybirds.

Southern, in its season opener, broke open a tight game in the third period and went on to defeat Franklinton by a 33-25 margin at the SNHS Gymansium.

The Ladybirds improved to 1-0 overall, while Franklinton dropped to 1-1.

Franklinton was without starters Jalissa Debnam (center) and Mecca Hicks (wing), and FHS veteran head coach Wilder was unsure about their potential returns to the lineup.

Without the speed and scoring ability of Hicks, and Debnam’s inside power, Franklinton had trouble scoring for most of the game -- and the Lady Rams were unable to dent the scoreboard in the opening period of action.

Southern Nash, however, wasn’t much better over the first eight minutes, and the only bucket during that stretch came courtesy of Kadijah Manning just under five minutes in.

Thanks to Manning’s jumper, the Ladybirds went to the second quarter holding a 2-0 advantage.

Nikki Bell got Franklinton going with a driving basket just 34 minutes into the second frame, but SN’s Miya Bryant countered with five points in a row, including a trey.

Alexis Degrasse then offered five points of her own for FHS, including a layup that pushed the Lady Rams to their first lead of the night at 8-7 with 1:12 remaining before intermission.

Bryant helped SN reclaim its cushion nine ticks later on a layp, and the Ladybirds would be ahead 9-8 at the break.

With Southern Nash clinging to a 13-12 lead in the third stanza, Tyreka Nicholson drained a jumper, and Bryant -- the daughter of SN coach Wayne Bryant -- nailed a clutch trifecta to extend the Ladybirds to 18-12 with 2:50 left in the period.

Another Bryant trey -- this time just over three minutes into the final quarter -- gave Southern Nash its biggest lead to that point at 25-17.

Franklinton would get as close as four points at 27-23 on Charity Snelling’s steal and ensuing layup, but Manning made two key free throws down the stretch, and Logan McNinch delivered a crucial jumper.

Bryant was strong for Southern Nash with 13 points, while Amber Cannady and Manning came through with six points apiece.

Degrasse, who is coming off a solid volleyball campaign for Franklinton, paced the Lady Rams’ scoring parade with 13 points. She was the only FHS performer to tally more than four points, so Wilder hopes to have his scoring punch improved with the returns of Hicks and Debnam.

The contest featured a showdown between a Class 2-A program -- Franklinton -- against a Class 3-A squad in Southern Nash.

The two teams will meet again this Friday, this time at the Franklinton High School Gymnasium to complete the two-game, non-conference series for the 2010-11 campaign.

Southern Nash was supposed to play Tuesday night at Bunn, but that game has been postponed and will probably be rescheduled for sometime in the middle portion of January.

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