FRANKLIN, Ind. — The Grizzly Cubs’ Saturday night Semi-State victory over Mooresville was especially sweet.
Not only did Franklin advance to the school’s first-ever girls basketball title, the team was able to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss to Brownsburg.
“We got upset, so to come back with a vengeance the next year is the greatest feeling in the world,” said senior guard Kuryn Brunson. “We always talk about leaving a legacy, so what better way to do it than winning a championship?”
The last time Franklin played in the title game was 1998. They fell to West Lafayette 62-54 in the Class 3A final. Now, a new generation of Grizzly Cubs gets the chance to bring home a trophy.
“They’ve been preparing for this moment since they were in fourth or fifth grade, so there’s not much I have to say to them. It’s about preparation and habits and we’ll be good to go for Saturday,” said head coach Josh Sabol.
“There’s so much support in this community from the parents to the administration. The town has rallied around us. It would mean everything to bring home a championship here.”
Senior guard Ashlyn Traylor transferred to Franklin this season from Martinsville, but has left everything on the court with her new squad. She led the team with 21 points in the 49-46 win over the Pioneers, and understands what it takes to be a Grizzly Cub.
“We have a chip on our shoulder and we’re really hoping to put a banner on that wall,” said Traylor.
The secret to Franklin’s success? Treating every second on the court like a championship game and pushing each other to be great. Being ranked second in the state is not good enough.
“They have this refuse to lose spirit and it’s in every single drill, practice, game,” said Sabol. “That’s what carries us through these big games with a lot on the line.”
Everything is on the line on Sunday, as the Grizzly Cubs face the Noblesville Millers at Gainbridge Field House. Tip off for the 4A State Final is at 8:15 pm.