COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Marion-Franklin traveled to Independence on Monday in a game where both teams hoped record their first win this season. Despite multiple lead changes in the fourth quarter, Independence pulled away in the final minute, coming away with a 60-53 win.
The Sixers were led by super senior Benjamin James, who had a game-high 33 points in the first win of the season.
Independence (1-6) jumped out to an early 16-9 lead in the first quarter, as Marion-Franklin (0-5) struggled to find offense early.
The home team saw their lead grow in the second quarter, going into halftime with a 29-19 lead. Sixers senior forward James couldn’t be contained, going for 16 points in the first half.
Marion-Franklin came out of halftime moving the ball, and out working the Sixers on both ends of the floor. The Red Devils shaved the Sixers lead all the way down to two points as the game headed into the final quarter of play.
Marion-Franklin senior guard Tronny Keaton began to heat up in the fourth quarter, as he tried to will his team to their first win since January of 2017. Keaton hit some big time shots that gave the Red Devils the lead midway though the fourth quarter.
After multiple lead changes in the fourth quarter, Independence hit a few shots late in the fourth that allowed them to come away with a win.
James led all scorers with 33 points. Junior guard Andre Trent added 10 for the Sixers. For Marion Franklin, the Red Devils were led by Keaton’s 24 points, while senior Jaylen Harris added eight points.
Benjamin James (6’5 WF / Independence / 2019): James has put this Sixers team on his back all season long. The forward is one of the team’s best ball handlers, and has surprisingly good court vision for a post player. James did a little bit of everything while on offense for Independence on Tuesday, from scoring inside on put backs, scoring in the lane from off the dribble, and even hitting mid range jumpers and shots from behind the three-point line. James was also able to control the paint, jumping high and grabbing numerous offensive and defensive rebounds over the course of the game. James finished Tuesday’s game as the leading scorer on the night with 33 points. The senior is only improving and should soon begin to receive offers from JUCO and NAIA schools in the region.
Tronny Keaton (6’0 CG / Marion Franklin / 2019): Keaton has been filling it up for the Red Devils over the course of the past two seasons. Keaton can do whatever, whenever he wants to on offense for Marion-Franklin. The senior is a streaky scorer that can scoring in a variety of different ways. Despite missing his fair share of shots from deep early, Keaton was able to finish the game with six total three pointers. Keaton finished with 24 points on the night, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter, as he did everything he could to try and give the Red Devils a win. Keep an eye out for Keaton over the course of this season, as he should be one of the top scorers in the City League for a second-straight year.