St. Edward cruises by Alden-Hebron in opener
St. Edward's AJ Franklin is accustomed to be counted on to score. He was the go-to guy for the boys soccer team this past fall and had a record-breaking season scoring goals.
With Kelvin Cortez-Kennedy and his 26-plus points per game last year having graduated from the Green Wave's boys basketball team, Franklin is now being counted on to take on more of scoring role on the basketball court.
The 6-foot-3 senior responded to the role with 16 points in the season opener at the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving Tournament on Monday. Daniel Parks also added 16 points as the Green Wave cruised past Alden-Hebron 61-31.
"AJ is the best athlete on our team," St. Edward coach PJ White said. "He's the leader of the team now. He's a quiet young man, so he often times leads by example. Today he did a real good job taking on that leadership role."
Franklin scored all 16 of his points in the first half to help put the Green Wave up 42-16 by halftime. He scored on 3 drives to the basket, a steal and layup, a medium jumper, a 3-pointer, and 3-of-4 shooting from the free-throw line.
"I'm used to being looked up to to score," Franklin said. "That's how it was during soccer. This is not much different. I just want to do my part to help the team be successful. I think everybody on the team did a good job today. Without the one big scorer I think we move the ball better and look for the open shots."
Parks, the starting point guard for St. Edward, provided a scoring spark in the first quarter with 10 points.
"Dan does a good job handling the ball," White said. "He's our court leader running the offense. He's also got a nice shot and is strong enough to take the ball to the basket when we need him to."
The Green Wave were fueled by their defense that forced 29 turnovers and held Alden-Hebron to just 11 of 41 (27 percent) shooting from the field.
"I thought we rotated real well on defense," White said. "Then when we had the ball we ran the floor well. I would like to see us shoot the ball a little better, but that's what I like about being in this tournament. It gives us a chance to work on things to get ready for the rest of the season."
The Green Wave had 11 players in the scoring column.
"We definitely have more depth this season," White said. "It's nice to have several players we can look to score."