HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS : Franklin Stages Big Comeback for First Title

Franklin High rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to post a 64-57 victory over Van Nuys Birmingham in the City Section boys’ Division 3-A final Friday night at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The title is the first for the Panthers (23-5).

Guard Jeff Deno led Franklin’s comeback by hitting three consecutive three-point shots in the third quarter to help propel the Panthers to a 46-45 lead entering the fourth quarter.

“Have you ever seen a team shoot that well?” Birmingham’s Al Bennett asked in disbelief after the game. “They were unconscious. Some of those shots looked like they were from out of bounds.”


Deno finished with 15 points, hitting five of six three-point shots. Johnnie Sanders led Franklin in scoring with 21.

Scott James, Birmingham’s all-time leader in three-pointers, surpassed Franklin with six and finished with 20 points. Sophomore David Redmond added 17 points and 13 rebounds.