By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by ANDY COLLIGNON
Franklin Road Academy brought home another silver basketball Saturday night.
The Panthers finished second in Division II-A for the third time in four years after a 64-55 loss to Lausanne at Allen Arena.
“Three state championship (appearances) in four years is great, but it almost hurts even worse to even make it to the state championship three times and lose three times,” said teary-eyed FRA senior Jack Doherty. “It’s almost nicer to just lose earlier so you don’t have to feel the pain of coming so close.”
FRA (26-11) also took second behind Harding Academy last year after a 31-point lead disappeared and to Battle Ground Academy in 2014.
“But I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the last four years,” said Doherty, a 6-foot-4 Richmond football signee who scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
FRA senior Tyler Roop also scored 15 points and dished out five assists.
“For these seniors to get to the state championship three out of four years is pretty amazing,” Panthers coach John Pierce said. “It would have been a great crowning achievement for their careers to win it, but it doesn’t diminish what they’ve done as high school basketball players. More importantly, what we stress is the journey is so much better than the result.”
Tournament MVP Schyler Forrest, a 6-5 sophomore guard, led Lausanne (26-8) with 23 points and he hauled down eight rebounds.
Four Lynx players suffered season-ending injuries, but the survivors still found a way to win the school’s second state title.
“Two were starters and another was a true freshman we were hoping would come along because he’s 6-6, and the other one played major minutes for us off the bench,” Lynx coach Marvis Davis said. “So, for us to lose two starters and keep on trucking is a true testament to guys like Cameron Simms, who stepped up tremendously.”
Simms contribute nine points and eight rebounds as a guard.
Forrest said the doubters motivated Lausanne.
“Everybody was doubting on us and hating on us throughout the season, so we all came together as a family,” Forrest said. “We motivated each other.”
Lausanne’s James Babb, a 6-6 forward, added 11 points. The Lynx also won a state football championship in December.
“About half of us, if not more than half of us on the basketball team, played football,” Babb said. “Our athletic director, Kevin Locastro, always says football sets the standard for the rest of the year and it set the standard this year and certainly carried over into today.”