Article from the Indy Star
Cathedral coach Jason Delaney made his pitch for Armaan Franklin as this year’s IndyStar Mr. Basketball after the senior’s performance in the City tournament championship on Wednesday night at Tech.
Franklin, the 6-5 senior guard, was sensational in a 78-48 win over Crispus Attucks. The Indiana recruit scored 23 of his game-high 29 points in the first half, going 8-for-9 from the field and 5-for-6 from the 3-point line before halftime.
“In my opinion he’s Mr. Basketball because he plays both ends of the floor, he can shoot, he can set guys up, he can do everything,” Delaney said. “That’s why I say he’s Mr. Basketball. That’s my plug for him.”
But as impressive has his first half performance was – and it was – maybe even more important for Class 4A fourth-ranked Cathedral (14-3) was its efficiency after halftime in wrapping up its third consecutive City championship. After 3A No. 5 Attucks (12-4) cut the lead to six early in the third quarter, Cathedral buried the Tigers with an 18-0 run without a single point from Franklin.
Oh yeah, that freshman. Tayshawn Comer, Cathedral’s starting point guard, is a freshman. Can a team with a freshman point guard win Sectional 10? That is yet to be seen. But there are not many freshmen as talented and steady as Comer, who has exceeded expectations through 17 games.
“He’s already a great player,” Armaan Franklin said of Comer. “He just has to keep the turnovers down, be a floor general for us and knock down shots. He’s tough and gritty and he’s going to put pressure on you. He’s really tough for a 14-year-old.”
Comer pitched in 12 points on Wednesday, as did Hensley. In the second half, with Cathedral leading by 20 points, Comer drove baseline and turned it over on an errant baseline pass. After a scramble to the Attucks’ end of the court, Delaney called Comer over for a chat.
“We didn’t need that right there in that moment,” Comer said later. “We were up by quite a bit so that was my fault.”
It is all part of the learning process for Comer, who will be a handful for opposing teams for the next three-plus years. He has benefitted from learning from seniors like James and Armaan Franklin, who accepted him right away.
“Those guys helped me feel more comfortable,” Comer said. “My first game, I was so nervous man. I told myself I wasn’t going to be nervous. But Armaan and those guys just told me to slow down and control the offense. Right now, I’m feeling great.”
It helps that Comer gets an up-close view of performances like Armaan Franklin’s on Wednesday.
“It shows me what a Big Ten player looks like,” he said. “He can do it all. For my part, I feed him the ball. I get mine, too, because other teams focus on him. Playing with him is crazy.”
Jaiquan Edwards led Attucks with 18 points. The Tigers were making their first appearance in the City championship since 1973 and shooting for their first title since the 1961-62 season.
“We didn’t do the things we practiced the day before,” Hawkins said. “We kind of went back to trying to do it individually. We weren’t playing offense as a team, weren’t playing defense as a team. So in games like this you get exposed. It’s one of those games you take it on the chin and then go try and fix it.”
It was Cathedral’s 16th overall City title and Delaney’s fifth in six years, including two at Tech. There are some similarities to this Cathedral team and the teams in 2013 and ’14 Delaney had at Tech. In 2013, Tech had a starting freshman point guard in C.J. Walker.
“When you have a special team, you look at guys who remind you of guys you had,” Delaney said. “Trey (Lyles) was that leader on the floor. Armaan is like that. They both became more vocal as seniors. You see C.J. and see parts of him in Tayshawn.”
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.
Cathedral (14-3) – J.Franklin 5 3-3 16, Comer 4 3-4 12, A.Franklin 9 5-6 29, Montefalco 0 0-2 0, Hensley 4 1-2 12, Welch 1 0-0 2, Jordan 1 0-0 3, Farah 2 0-0 4. Totals: 26 12-17 78.