By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
Shortly after Summit’s upset loss at Brentwood on Tuesday night, Zacharyia Esmon was asked about her team’s next game at Franklin.
“They better watch out,” she said.
The Lady Spartans guard backed it up with a 25-point performance in Summit’s 56-49 win over the Lady Rebels on Wednesday night.
“We were all focused today – the whole day at school, film, everything,” said Esmon, who averages about 10 rebounds per game. “We were all in. We just get mad and take it out on the other team the next day.”
Ashton Arnold added 11 points and Olivia Colson scored 10 for the Lady Spartans (9-11, 4-3 District 11-AAA), who play the Lady Rebels (14-6, 5-2) again on Tuesday at Summit.
The loss ended Franklin’s seven-game win streak, putting the Lady Rebels in a second-place tie with Centennial (10-6, 5-2) in the district.
“We just had to make it our game,” Summit coach Kari Goodwin said. “When Z is hitting, she’s a completely different player. I always tell her just get a rhythm and then the game is yours.”
Jilian King led the Lady Rebels with 16 points and Holly Harris added 14 one night after the junior reached the 1,000 career points milestone in a win at Nolensville.
“It almost needed to happen,” Harris said of the loss. “We need to be just a little bit humbled.”
Summit took charge early, scoring the first nine points of the game.
Franklin rallied to take a one-point lead on King’s foul shot late in the first half, but Summit answered with an 8-0 surge and never trailed again.
The Lady Rebels narrowed the deficit to 37-36 early in the fourth quarter but that was as close as they got.
“I think the story of the game tonight was their offensive rebounding,” Franklin coach Darrell Barnwell said. “I thought they did a great job on the boards and created second and third opportunities. With the exception of those two 3’s (by Arnold), pretty much all their points came at the free throw line or in the paint.”
Summit is fourth in the district, a game and a half ahead of Ravenwood (11-9, 3-5) with five league games left for the Lady Spartans.
“Our stretch (run) is going to be pretty rough next week,” Goodwin said. “I know Franklin has a tough stretch, too, so how it plays out, who knows? But we’ve got to bring it every night.”
Summit visits Centennial on Saturday.
Franklin hosts district leader Dickson County on Friday.