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Men’s basketball: Franklin, Waubonsee rally to down Elgin

ElgCommunity College's Brock Ralphs (10) drives basket between Waubonsee Community College's D.J. Vaughn (20) Marcus Frankl(5) during second half their

Elgin Community College's Brock Ralphs (10) drives to the basket between Waubonsee Community College's D.J. Vaughn (20) and Marcus Franklin (5) during the second half of their game at the 2013 Tip-Off Classic at Elgin Community College on Sunday. January 13, 2013. The Chiefs won the game 60-54. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 15, 2013 6:22AM

Waubonsee Community College’s Marcus Franklin says he considers himself a “distributor” of the basketball.

Sunday night in the first ISCC Tip-Off Classic at Elgin Community College, the former Thornton High player distributed basketballs not to teammates, but into the basket. It seemed to ignite a lethargic Chiefs team to a 64-50 comeback victory over host ECC.

“Marcus is capable of doing that,” Waubonsee College coach Dave Heiss said. “He can get anywhere he wants to go. That’s his strength.

“But he’s not usually a great scorer and is really good at getting to the rim and that is great for others on the team to get open shots.”

Waubonsee (9-5, 1-0) got dominated in the first half as ECC closed with a 17-5 run to take a 28-17 halftime lead, then turned it around behind Franklin’s game-high 14 points, all in the second half. The Chiefs had a run to close the second half similar to ECC’s run to close the first, outscoring the Spartans 22-8 over the last 9:20.

“It was a game of two halves,” ECC coach Reed Nosbisch said. “We pretty much dominated the first half and they dominated the second half while we struggled.

“We just couldnt score. When you go into those droughts at this level ... and Waubonsee is probably one of the better teams in our league.”

Franklin started the rally for Waubonsee with three buckets at the hoop in the first 3:50 of the second half to close the deficit to four, then began distributing to teammates. He wound up with four second-half assists to go with nine total rebounds.

“I think it was our defense in the second half that did it,” Franklin said. “We stuck to our defensive principles and it led to our offense.

“As a team, we stopped being lazy and focused and worked hard and when we do that we become great and everything falls into place.”

ECC (7-8, 0-1) was held to only 8-of-32 shooting from the field in the second half (25 percent) after hitting 48 percent (11-of-23) the first half.

Waubonsee’s D.J. Vaughn suffered through a poor shooting night (4-of-19) but wound up with 10 points, and Tramell Weathersby also had 10, all in the second half.

ECC got 11 from Shyler Ralphs and 10 from Brandon Tyson, but was hurt by the loss of two players during the game. Jonathan Leigeber, the Spartans’ 6-foot-4 forward, fouled out with 9:30 remaining, which coincided with the start of Waubonsee’s final run. Guard Alan Walker went down with an ankle injury with 13:24 remaining and couldn’t finish.

The game served as the official opening of the conference season and the unique format brought together all the conference teams at ECC in men’s and women’s conference games over a two-day period. It didn’t draw big crowds, but Nosbisch saw a real benefit.

“I know we didn’t have to travel, and others did, so they probably weren’t real happy with that, but I did see eight or nine college coaches here scouting, which is a real plus,” he said.

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