Diamond Miller and the Franklin HS Warriors are back in the girls basketball Tournament of Champions. The defending champions of the state made their presence felt in Toms River North’s gym, outmatching the hosting Mariners in every way by defeating them 70-30 for another Group IV title.
Leading the charge with a game high 27 points, Miller scored 11 of Franklin’s 19 points through the first quarter. Leading 19-10, the Warriors hadn’t delivered a knockout punch yet, but TRN was sent back to their familiar corner reeling against the speed and strength of Franklin.
Toms River North converted just five field goals over the next eight minutes of play, as Franklin effortlessly took over the game with a 21-0 run. Nine of the 21 points scored on this run would come from Miller, who recently committed to Maryland prior to this game.
“It felt like we were right on our home court, it was that easy” – Diamond Miller, Franklin
It was Miller’s heroic effort that set up the potential for a ToC rematch with Manasquan – featuring a Shore Conference Maryland commit in Faith Masonius.
When she wasn’t scoring, Diamond Miller facilitated the basketball for a Franklin offense that found any shot they wanted against the TRN zone. Camille Gray, Keona Schenck, and Kennedy Schenck all scored in double figures for the Warriors to keep the outcome of this contest never in doubt.
Pouring in 23 points off of 18 TRN turnovers in this game, Franklin gave their large crowd on hand plenty of reason to celebrate in the second half as well.
A devastating 13-0 run to start the third quarter put Franklin up 57-16. They had officially taken over the home of the Mariners, using it as a stage to prove that they’re out for nothing short of a second consecutive ToC crown.
The Franklin Warriors earned the #3 seed in next week’s Tournament of Champions, and will return to TRN to face #6 Old Tappan.
Two Shore Conference powers in Manasquan and Saint Rose earned the top two seeds respectively, and the well-deserved byes into Friday night’s semifinals.
On Sunday night though, at a venue that is considered a center point of the Shore, Franklin wound the clock out on the Mariner’s fantastic run – springing forward into New Jersey’s final tournament with palpable confidence.
“We’re not going to sneak up on anyone now, we know that” – Diamond Miller
Junior Jenna Paul led TRN with ten points, their only scorer in double figures, as Franklin held them to a combined 20% from the field.