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Washington Girls Edge Jefferson in Battle of High-Scoring Duos

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CEDAR RAPIDS For more than a half, from a scoring perspective, this was a game of two-on-two.

You had Dani Franklin and Aleena Hobbs filling the hoop for Cedar Rapids Washington. There was Cedar Rapids Jefferson's Amanda Ollinger and Kennedy Dighton, matching them basket for basket.

In the end, the Warriors' duo got a little more assistance.

Class 5A 10th-ranked Washington strung together a run immediately after a scoreboard malfunction delayed the game late in the third quarter, and ultimately prevailed, 67-59, in the girls basketball game between the Metro rivals Friday night at Jefferson High School.

"We were able to get together and stay focused," Franklin said. "That was really important."

A Valparaiso University signee, Franklin scored 28 points and Hobbs added 23 for the Warriors (6-2). Ollinger and Dighton, a sophomore and freshman, respectively, tallied 27 and 20 for the J-Hawks (3-6).

Nobody else scored a basket until the 7:22 mark of the third quarter, when Washington's Kandis O'Donnell got in the action. O'Donnell scored all six of her points in the second half.

"Everybody knows Dani and Aleena can score, and are going to the majority of our scoring," said Washington Coach Frank Howell. "A kid I was really proud of was Lilly Hartman, our 13th kid in the game.

"She played 53 seconds and gave us a great 53 seconds. That gave us a lift."

Jefferson led through much of the first half as much as nine points early in the second quarter and still held a 36-34 advantage when the scoreboard shut off at the 2:31 mark of the third period. That caused a delay of nearly 10 minutes while school officials scrambled to rectify the situation.

Shortly after play resumed, Hartman's basket gave the Warriors a 41-39 advantage; that represented the 11th lead change of the third quarter. It was the final time the lead switch hands.

Hobbs' two free throws pushed Washington's lead to 55-43, the largest margin of the game. Jefferson got within six, but no closer.

"We stressed effort, execution, energy and enthusiasm, and I think we got most of that, except execution on the defensive end," said Jefferson Coach Jason Edwards. "We let (Franklin) get over her scoring average, and we let (Hobbs) get over her average. That hurt. We can't afford to lose track of those two."

This is Edwards' second season at Jefferson. He had previously been Howell's assistant at Washington.

The coaches spent New Year's Eve together a nine-year tradition now three nights prior to their matchup.

"It's never going to be easy for me playing Washington," Edwards said. "Maybe in the sense that there's more distance from the kids now. But Frank ... he's my buddy."

Howell said, "It sure won't be fun in a couple years. They have some good young kids."

Friday's game did not count in the Mississippi Valley Conference standings. The rematch Feb. 14 at Washington will count.

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