Arena Sportsnet

Frankton survives OT to advance to Bankers Life Fieldhouse

By Michael Hogg

Lafayette, IN

In perhaps one of the best games of all the Semi-State games today it was no wonder that it was settled in Overtime as Frankton punched their ticket to play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse next Saturday for the Class 2A State Title after defeating Marquette Catholic Saturday Afternoon at Lafayette Jeff 77-75.

This game was nothing but runs and if you like fast paced action and runs you was not disappointed. On the onset of the game after it was 6-2 Marquette Catholic, the Blazers in what looked like that they were going to run the Eagles all the way back to Frankton ending the 1st Quarter on a 14-2 to take a commanding 20-6 lead going to the 2nd Quarter.

Slowly, but surely Frankton whittled the lead back down to single digits after going on a 7-0 run to begin the 2nd Quarter. The run was led by Kayden Key who had 4 of the 7 points during the run. However, Marquette Catholic was able to maintain the lead and at one point stretched the lead up to 11 points after Max Willoughby scored on a breakaway lay up to make the score 26-15 with 3:24 left before Halftime. Both teams traded baskets to end the half with the Blazers still leading at Halftime 35-29.

With the Blazers, holding on to the 6 point lead as the 3rd Quarter getting underway Frankton’s Maurice Knight who scored a game-high 35 points engineered a 8 point run along with Landon Weins and Rylan Detling to regain the lead back for the Eagles at 37-35 lead with 6:05 left to go in the 3rd.

However, that lead was short-lived for the Eagles as Colin Kenney buried a deep 3 to give the Blazers the lead back at 38-37 with 5:50 to go in the Quarter. When asked about his Team’s Performance after the game Frankton Head Coach Brett Brobston commented, “It was a great back and forth game with a lot of runs.” Brobston adds, “I’m proud of my kids on how they were able to withstand the run that Marquette Catholic.”

With Knight taking over in the 2nd Half and Overtime by scoring 26 points of his Game High 35 points, it was basically just get the ball to him and let him take over the game. After the tough loss, Marquette Catholic’s Head Coach Dr. Donovan Garletts commented on the game, “It was a tough game for both teams today as the kids gave it their all.” On Knight, Garletts added,  “We had both Christian Cruz and Jonathan Andershock on him today and he couldn’t be stopped as he was able to get up higher than both of our guys.”

As the 3rd Quarter was coming to a close both teams traded baskets to make the score 52-47 Eagles as they outscored the Blazers 23-10. On his performance today, Knight said, “I don’t know how to describe the feeling it is an awesome feeling.” Being asked about the late run by Marquette Catholic to erase the 7 point lead Knight stated, “We knew that we could get it done, we just had to regroup.”

With Frankton holding on to the 5 point lead as the 4th Quarter starting both teams traded baskets to get going. The Eagles were able to get the lead up to 7 at 60-53 before a quick 5-0 run to cut the lead to 2 at 60-58 with 3:52 left as Buddy Jaffee scored on a rebound tip following his miss and hitting a 3 from the right corner.

Marquette Catholic was able to tie it up with :12.2 seconds left on a Colin Kenney layup. Frankton had a chance to win it at the buzzer but Weins missed a 3 from the top of the key.

As the Overtime commenced Jaffee gave the Blazers the lead on a jumper in the lane to make the score 67-65 with 4:28 left. On the ensuing possession Knight, who was 0 for 6 on 3 point attempts was able to finally break the ice and give the Eagles back the lead at 68-67. Marquette Catholic was able to regain the lead as Andershock scored on a drive to the basket converting the layup.

Knight was able convert on a pair of free throws to give the lead back for good to Frankton at 70-69 with 1:55 left to go in the extra frame. After a tip-in by Jon Hatzell to stretch the lead to 5 for the Eagles, Kenney came and drilled a 3 to cut the lead back to 2 at 74-72 with 54.2 seconds left. As Knight connected on his free throws to put the lead up to 4. After a made basket by Kenney to cut the lead back to 1 after a 3 point play at 76-75 with 9 seconds left.

Knight, was fouled with 5.4 seconds left split a pair or free throws pushed the lead up 2 at 77-75. After the miss, the Blazers called timeout with 4.2 seconds left. After the time out Kenney drove the length of the court and shot a desperation 3 that hit the front of the rim and fell harmlessly to the floor and thus punching Frankton’s ticket back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

With the win, Frankton improves to 22-6 and will face Crawford County next Saturday for the 2A State Title at 12:45 p.m.

Marquette Catholic finishes the season at 19-10.