Siva keys team to KOB win over Male

While UofL signee Peyton Siva and his Seattle (WA) Franklin teammates faced a big challenge from defending champion Male in the opening round of the King of the Bluegrass Friday night at Fairdale, the Bulldogs were nowhere near as challenging as Franklin's journey from Seattle to Louisville.

If you've seen the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Siva and his teammates lived something similar in going from Seattle to Louisville this week for the KOB at Fairdale. There was a snow delay in Las Vegas and delays in both St. Louis and Chicago. But Siva and most of his teammates had arrived in time for Friday's opening round game against the Bulldogs.

Siva finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds and three assists but it was his lone blocked shot in the final minute of the game that keyed Franklin to a 56-52 win over Male. With his team ahead by two points, Siva made a spectacular block on Male's Tyler Reynolds with 50 seconds remaining to save the day for Franklin.

"Man, I just didn't want to lose," Siva said about his game-saving blocked shot. "We were up by two and I saw the fast break and I was just trying to do everything to help our team win at that point."

After the block, Siva secured the loose ball, drew a foul and calmly sank both free throws for a four-point lead that effectively sealed the win for his team.

"I just tried to calm down and stay humble," Siva said. "I just calmed down and knocked the free throws down."

Though his team scored just seven points in the third quarter, Siva showed poise in the decisive period while leading his team to a big win in front of a large crowd at Fairdale High School.

"In the third quarter we made a lot of mistakes and made a lot of turnovers," Siva said. "That had to be the worst quarter we've played all season. So in the fourth quarter we just tried to slow it down, run some offense and I think we did a pretty good job executing."

Siva said his team's travel problems getting to Louisville played a big part in Franklin's sluggish play after halftime.

"It snowed in Vegas – that caught me off-guard," said Siva. "We got stuck in St. Louis for about eight hours. Stuck in Vegas for the whole day. For us to come in here and play like we did I'm just really proud of our team."

Siva and a few of his teammates arrived in Louisville at 2 AM Friday morning. Some of Siva's other teammates didn't arrive in Louisville until a few hours before their game against the Bulldogs. There were even a few teammates who didn't arrive at Fairdale until after the final horn had sounded.

"We were all tired from the trip – it's been a long week," Siva said. "It was a long way here excluding the plane trip. So we all came out of it and played well. I'm just glad we won in front of all these fans. Hopefully they got their monies worth. They show their love down here."

Siva hopes to get some rest Saturday before his team's second round game in the KOB. Siva said he planned to visit the UofL campus with his teammates while in town and watch the Cardinals game against Minnesota on television – just like he does every time Louisville has played this season.

"I watch every game and try to record every game I can and study the plays," Siva said. "I love the way they play. They play with excitement and energy. I love Coach (Rick) Pitino's style."

Franklin will play PRP in the second round Saturday night at 7:30. The Panthers beat Madisonville, which featured Kentucky recruit Jon Hood, Friday night.

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