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Local Sports

March 8, 2013

Franklin looks to take big step forward

Mike Dutcher said a funny thing Thursday night.

“Right from Day One, I’ve always preached to our girls: If Jordan has the ball, work hard and get in front of her and good things will happen,” the third-year Franklin girls basketball coach said.”If you’re open, you will get the ball.”

Of course, that’s only “if” Jordan has the ball, right?

Hardy-har-har.

Area scoring leader Beers will lead Franklin (20-0) into a Class D state quarterfinal at 3 p.m. Saturday at Oneonta State, where the Section Four champion Purple Devils will play fellow unbeaten Oriskany (21-0) of Section Three. The game will be the second in a state-quarterfinal triple-header at Dewar Arena — in between a Class C girls showdown between Cooperstown and Harpursville and a Class D boys clash featuring Marathon and New York Mills.

The ball surely will spend much of the Class D quarterfinal in the hands of Beers, who’s coming off a 33-point, 12-rebound performance in last Saturday’s 51-37 victory over Tri-Valley League rival Morris that marked Franklin’s first sectional crown in girls basketball.

“We don’t have a kid up here like her,” said eighth-year Oriskany coach Angela Meiss, whose team beat New York Mills, 40-37, for its second straight sectional title. “She looks like one of those kids that who knows if you can stop her? She just has the passion to play. You can’t teach passion and you can’t teach hustle.”

Junior point guard Beers, who already owns Franklin’s all-time scoring record with 1,884 points, will take an area-best 26.5 points per game into the state quarterfinal. But Beers is far from a one-girl show, and both Dutcher and Meiss know that.

“No team gets this far unless you have quality players,” Dutcher said after the sectional final at O-State, where the Purple Devils also won the Tri-Valley League championship game and a sectional semifinal this season. “Everybody helped. It was great.”

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