Billies advance in state tournament; face Pottsville tonight

<span class="userContent">CAVE CITY—Freshman D.J. Franklin scored 19 points, including four three-pointers, to lead Monticello to a 71-49 win over Gosnell in the first round of the Class 4A state basketball tournament on Thursday afternoon.</span>

The Billies, runners-up in 4A South, advance to face 4A North second seed Pottsville in the quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

Franklin hit two three-point shots in a row midway t<span class="text_exposed_show">hrough the second quarter to spark Monticello, which had been listless up to that point because of foul problems. The ninth-grader, who didn’t even join the team until the last game of the regular season after his junior Billies won the Class 4A, District 8 championship, sparked Monticello to a 38-24 halftime lead.</span>

Franklin’s 19 points, of which 16 came in the second quarter, led the Billies in scoring. Sophomore Dontavia Clary scored 17 points for Monticello while the team’s leading scorer, Torry Butler, was held to 11 points by the Pirates, the fourth-place finisher in 4A East.

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