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Villa Park's Julien Franklin is guarded by Highland's Justin Douglas during Friday's game. Villa Park was playing Highland Park of Palmdale in the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 2AA boys playoff game at Villa Park High School in Villa Park on Friday, February 24, 2017. (Photo by Bill Alkofer,Orange County Register/SCNG)

Franklins help Villa Park earn trip to finals

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

VILLA PARK – Villa Park overpowered Highland of Palmdale, 71-55, in a CIF-SS Division 2AA semifinal Friday night on the Spartans’ court.

The Spartans (23-5) led the entire distance. They went on a 9-0 run midway through the second quarter for a 30-19 lead and were ahead, 39-29, at halftime. The Bulldogs (16-14 with 10 forfeit losses) never got closer than eight in the second half, and the Spartans put them away with a 9-3 burst for a 64-47 advantage with four minutes to play.

Villa Park plays Colony of Ontario for the 2AA championship. The game is expected to be played at the Honda Center on March 4.

“I’m very proud of this group for taking us to the Honda Center,” Villa Park coach Kevin Reynolds said.

Myles Franklin led Villa Park with 20 points. He was 7 of 12 from the field and 5 of 7 at the foul line. The 6-foot-4 senior scored 14 in the first half.

Julien Franklin added 11 points, all in the second half, and backup center Daelyn Bams, a 6-foot-9. 200-pound senior, had 12 points, nine rebounds and a blocked shot for the Spartans.

Deshay Gipson, a 6-2 senior guard, led the Bulldogs with 14 points, and and 5-7 point guard Dion Troupe added 12.

“Highland is very athletic and we had to play some of our best defense of the season,” Reynolds said. “We had great minutes from Bams. Highland adjusted on Myles (Franklin) at halftime and he’s smart enough to get the ball to other people.

“We wanted to try to get them into foul trouble. We knew they didn’t have a deep bench.”

Highland’s Justen Miller ended the first half with four fouls and fouled out with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter.

Bams played a major role in Villa Park’s 9-0 run in the second period. He made two foul shots and scored on a putback. Myles Franklin had a 15-foot jumper and a baseline scoop shot from in close to give the Spartans momentum they never gave up.

Highland was still hanging close, trailing 55-46, when Villa Park put together a 9-1 run in the fourth period for the 64-47 lead.

Bams fly-swatted a Highland shot from in close to 40 feet away from the basket and Isaiah Williams scored a basket for Villa Park to make it 60-46 with 4:17 to play.


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