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Andrew's Molly Franson (44) blocks the shot of Lincoln-Way Central's Madeline Bednarz (30). | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Scoring 16 points and pulling down 17 rebounds gave Molly Franson plenty to feel good about after Andrew’s 58-46 SouthWest Suburban Red victory Tuesday night over host Lincoln-Way Central.
But the six blocks, that really brought out the smile.
“That’s one of the best feelings you can get,” the 6-2 forward said. “When people are getting frustrated, it adds to their frustration.”
Frustration was a familiar feeling for Franson, who missed more than a month of the season with a knee issue, and the Thunderbolts, who were struggling at 3-8 at the Christmas break.
A 75-72 win over Lincoln-Way Central in the fifth-place game oft the Medieval Classic started what has been an impressive turnaround.
Georgia Alexakos added 22 points and 11 rebounds for Andrew (10-8, 4-2), which has won seven games in a row and is 6-0 since Franson returned to the team Jan. 7.
Central, which was led by Rebecca Gorman (8 points) and Kelsie Foster (7), dropped to 9-9, 4-3.
The key for Andrew was stopping Central from getting on any big surges from the perimeter with its run-and-gun offense.
The Knights were 16-of-89 from the floor. That’s a lot of bad shooting, but Alexakos would like to think it was Andrew’s ability to get hands in a lot of faces.
“Honestly, our defense was pretty good,” she said. “They had a couple of open shots and they ran us pretty hard, but we did manage to get to the shooters a lot.”
So much so, in fact, the Knights took to driving the lane more than usual. That’s where Franson stepped up, adding to their angst with her long reach.
Central had just one real flurry of points, as Gorman banked in a three, and she and Foster converted layups in the final two minutes of the first half to cut what had been a 13-point Andrew lead to seven.
A 12-0 run to start the third quarter gave Andrew a double-digit lead it would not relinquish. Central shot just 2-of-21 from the field in the third period.
“They did a good job of stopping us from getting to the basket, and we did a good job of stopping ourselves from not making any threes,” Knights coach Chris Fetherling said. “We could have opened up the floor, but since we didn’t shoot well the floor didn’t really open up. They were allowed to just kind of sag in and take away our drives to the basket.”