Rowe, McCaskell lead Franklin County past Lexington Christian

By Nate Parsons Published:

The Franklin County seniors went out winners in their final home game Wednesday night.

Seniors Rylan Rowe (23 points) and Lorenzo McCaskell (21 points) paved the way, scoring nine points apiece in the fourth quarter to lift FCHS to a 75-70 win over Lexington Christian Academy in a game that was nip-and-tuck over the final four minutes.

“We have a lot of seniors and these seniors have played a lot of basketball,” said FCHS coach Tommy Johnson, whose team features eight seniors.

“During this time of the year you always want to gel and we’re starting to gel a little bit.

“These seniors kept fighting. They didn’t want to go out with a loss on Senior Night.”

The Flyers (14-10) have won three straight since enduring a slump where they lost four of five.

“I thought we played really good as a team,” said McCaskell, who shattered the backboard attempting a dunk in warmups last month. “I would say this was one of our best games.”

The Flyers had seemingly began to pull away late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter by going on a 17-2 run and taking a 59-50 lead. McCaskell scored four straight points and Rowe hit a 3 to cap the run.

But back came the Eagles (16-11), with junior Drew Trimble making a 3-pointer to cut it to 61-59 midway through the fourth quarter. He then made a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game on two separate occasions over the next two minutes.

Then after a pair of free throws from senior Michael Young cut it to 69-68 with 1:30 to go, Rowe made two at the foul line and McCaskell scored on a driving layup to make it 73-68 with 22 seconds left.

Junior John Stein made it a one-possession game by making a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left, but senior Chris Roberts and sophomore Demarcus Kennedy both made the second of two free throws in the final seconds to help FCHS secure the win.

“Free throws, we’ve been practicing them every day,” McCaskell said. “Close games we have to hit the free throws and as a team we just had to hit them.”

Junior Ryan Schneider scored 13 points off the bench for FCHS, which went on a 16-2 run bridging halftime to take a 10-point lead early in the third quarter.

LCA answered that run with a 22-6 spurt of its own to take a 48-42 lead. Junior Matt Rose scored nine points during that time and finished the game with 28 points and 11 rebounds.

“I knew we were going to have trouble with him, so we started to double him late in the game,” Johnson said. “He’s a good player and he scores.”

Trimble scored all 16 of his points in the second half and Young added 13 points for LCA.

FCHS closes out its regular season at Anderson County Friday at 7:30 p.m., while LCA hosts Western Hills today at 8 p.m.

LEX. CHRISTIAN (70) — John Stein 5, Trevor Hill 5, Benton Nighbert 3, Matt Rose 28, Drew Trimble 16, Michael Young 13.

FRANKLIN CO. (75) — Demetrius Wylie 6, Rylan Rowe 23, Lorenzo McCaskell 21, Matthew Lee 2, Ryan Schneider 13, Chris Roberts 8, Demarcus Kennedy 2.

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