Garfield’s Zone Propels Win Over Franklin
By Colin Caruso
In the most anticipated game of the day on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, the rivals Garfield Bulldogs and Franklin Quakers squared off. With the likes of Mark Few, Lorenzo Romar, Cam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas in the building, everyone knew that this game would bring a lot of energy. With Garfield now in 4A the rivalry has relatively calmed down, but next year they will be back in 3A and one of the states best matchups will now be a league game.
The undefeated Bulldogs anticipated a good matchup against the 10-3 Quakers, but they did not expect the offensive explosion that resulted in the first quarter. Franklin blew up for 24 points in the first frame, led by Keith Smith’s 11. Garfield could not match the intensity or the size of the Quakers in the first frame. Smith also picked up two fouls in the first frame, and a third early in the second quarter. He was forced to sit the rest of the half, with Franklin going into the break up 37-34.
Garfield’s zone defense and Smith’s foul trouble really turned the tide in this game. Garfield sat back in a 2-3 zone and Franklin was forced to take outside shots. The shots did not fall, and Garfield was able to get out in transition on the long rebounds. Smith also picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, opening the door for Tramaine Isabell’s quarter high nine points for the Bulldogs, giving them the lead, 52-45.
The Quaker coaches had to gamble and put Smith in to start the fourth quarter, with their hopes gradually fading against a quicker but smaller Bulldog opponent. Smith fouled out with just over 5 minutes remaining in the contest, without scoring in the second half. This effectively ended the contest, with Garfield winning the fourth quarter 21-12 and ultimately the contest 73-57.
Tramaine Isabell – 28 points