FRANKLIN, Ind. -- Sophomore guard Kennedy Archer's poise pulled the Franklin Central High School girls basketball team through some tight spots Tuesday night.
"She's kind of a clutch player," Flashes coach Brian Hacker said. "She's been in situations before. Last season she hit three free throws at the end of a game. She wants the ball at the end of the game and be in those situations."
Archer hit 8-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter, including two with 18.4 seconds left to provide the final margin in the Flashes' 48-40 victory over Center Grove in the first round of the Class 4A Franklin Sectional.
"It was really nerve-racking, but I went up there with confidence," said Archer, who finished with 17 points, making 9-of-12 free throws overall.
In Tuesday's opener, Deauna Evans scored 24 points to lead Greenwood to a 51-30 rout of Franklin (7-14). Greenwood (17-4) will play Whiteland (10-11) at 6 p.m. Friday. Franklin Central (17-4) will play New Palestine (3-17) in the second game. The Flashes crushed New Palestine 73-13 on Nov. 13.
The Trojans (15-6) eliminated Franklin Central 40-38 in a sectional opener last season.
"I just wanted to get back at them so badly and we did," Archer said.
Senior Lizzy Pedigo added 15 points for the Flashes, hitting 5-of-9 shots.
"When Lizzy is on, it just puts a little pep in our step," Hacker said. "She is aggressive and most of the time that turns into a positive for us and that's contagious. She's a senior leader and four-year letter winner, so her making good decisions are what we need at this point."
Pedigo said the Flashes had to follow through on their practice plan to advance.
"It was rebounding, layups and free throws, and I think we executed that," Pedigo said. "Coach tells us to win every quarter and we won every quarter we could and played hard."
Franklin Central had beaten Center Grove 68-57 on Dec. 27.
Tuesday, the Flashes were able to maintain a comfortable lead until midway the fourth quarter.
"We relaxed and gave them four turnovers just off of passes and that gave them eight points," Hacker said. "It was one of those things where we finally felt good about it and lost our focus. Credit their defense on that, but some of it was mental toughness. So we had to get refocused and we did."
Center Grove also stayed alive with several offensive rebounds in the final quarter. The Trojans finished with 14 offensive rebounds and held a 33-23 edge.
"They hurt us with the rebounds, especially in the second half," Hacker said. "It wasn't pretty, but in a tournament what you want to do is get to the next round."
Sophomore forward Regan Wentland led the Trojans with 17 points.