The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

December 8, 2013

Scott Underwood: Hoops spirit soars high at Frankton

If you think the multi-class tournament is killing Indiana high school basketball, the Frankton Eagles could change your mind.

Hoosier Hysteria is very much alive and well at FHS, where it comes at you in waves of red and white.

My 12-year-old son, Simon, and I were looking for a good high school basketball game to watch Saturday night, and we zeroed in on the Tipton-at-Frankton game, which promised to be a thriller.

It wasn't: The Eagles, ranked ninth in Class 2A, overwhelmed the Blue Devils, ranked fifth. (So much for rankings!)

But the experience of attending a game at Frankton was thrilling.

I used to cover some games at the Eagles Nest as a sportswriter in the early 1990s, and Frankton had good teams back then. Yet the Eagles never broke through for a sectional championship under the traditional one-size-fits-all tournament.

They finally claimed their first sectional (in 2A) a couple of years ago, and now they have one of the best small-school teams in the state. And the people of Frankton are fired up.

The size of the crowd (I'd estimate it at 1,700) and the level of excitement Saturday night easily exceeded what I remember from the 1990s, before the advent of the multi-class tournament.

Simon and I chose the Frankton game Saturday, in part, to see Indiana All-Star candidate Aaron Korn play. Feeling ill, he didn't perform well and didn't play at all in the second half. Still, the Eagles soared to a 71-41 victory.

Even without Korn at his peak, Frankton plays a captivating style of ball. Junior guard Austin Compton is a tornado in the open court, and the team has depth, size, skill and quickness. It's obvious that the Eagles are very well coached.

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