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Patriots fall short in comeback effort

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WAKE FOREST - At halftime, Franklin Academy's boys basketball team was down 44-28 against Falls Lake Academy at home Tuesday. The Patriots fought back and made it a thrilling game, but the Firebirds stayed on top to beat the conference rivals 75-74.

Franklin Academy started off down 9-0. The Patriots clawed their way back to cut the deficit to 15-12 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Falls Lake pulled off a 13-4 run to take a 28-16 lead. The Firebirds extended that advantage to 44-28 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Franklin Academy came out swinging and played much better offensively. Falls Lake still made their shots, but the Patriots cut the deficit to 57-55 at the end of the period, making it a one-possession game.

Franklin Academy took their first lead of the night off the first shot of the fourth quarter. Falls Lake fought back and took back the lead at 60-58. 

With less than two minutes left in the game, Franklin Academy's Jaxon Moseley fed the ball to Ryan Franklin, who put the Patriots ahead 74-72.

With 23 seconds left, Falls Lake made an inside jump shot to go ahead 75-74. Franklin Academy took over with one last possession to try and take the lead.

Franklin Academy point guard Will Quinn drove left toward the basket. The junior threw up a tough shot with eight seconds left, but it bounced off the rim and Falls Lake came down with the rebound. 

The Firebirds held on for the final few seconds to win 75-74. Franklin Academy head coach Tyler Anderson said his team was in too deep of a hole in the beginning, which forced the game to come down to one shot.

"It came down to a couple of plays and Falls Lake made a big play at the end," Anderson said. "We had a good opportunity to score. We liked the call we made, but we just missed the shot. I'm proud of the guys for being in the situation to win the game. We played so poorly in the first half."

With the loss, Franklin Academy dropped to 11-6 overall and 7-3 in North Central conference play. The Patriots are still in the top three of their conference.

"We're in the time of the season where we're playing three games a week," Anderson said. "We can't sit and pout. I told the guys that we have to stick together. We have to have a short memory and be ready to play."

Franklin Academy will play at East Wake Academy Friday Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.