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3-A CHAMPIONSHIP : Franklin Bombs Out in Birmingham : Basketball: The Panthers score 10 three-pointers to win their first 3-A City Section championship, 64-57.

March 05, 1995|SEAN WATERS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Franklin made one of the most dramatic comebacks in City Section playoff history to win its first 3-A Division championship, beating Birmingham 64-57 Friday at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

They did it with the bomb, making 10 three-point shots in the game.

The Panthers, trailing by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, made seven three-pointers to take a 46-45 lead. The Panthers then outscored Birmingham, 15-6, to open the final quarter.

It was the Panthers' first championship appearance since the playoffs began in 1947.

"We have won City titles in baseball and football," Franklin Coach Robin Cardona said. "Now we will have to make room for a basketball title."

Jeff Deno scored 15 points, all from three-point range. He made three of his five three-pointers in the pivotal third quarter. Johnnie Sanders scored a game-high 21 points, including two three-pointers.

"In the locker room, the coach said we had to give it all we got," Sanders said. "If we lose, we lose strong. But it went the other way."

The Braves had a 15-0 spurt to start the second quarter. Sanders made the second of two free throws to break the Panthers' scoreless streak, which lasted five minutes.

Jamal Marks scored 11 of his 18 points in the second quarter as Birmingham took a 34-22 halftime lead. Sanders made three of 11 shots in the first half.

Scott James led the Braves with 20 points, including six three-pointers.

Records: Franklin 22-5; Birmingham 16-10.

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