The Herald Bulletin

February 14, 2014

Eagles survive and advance to title tilt

By Justin Bates For The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — MIDDLETOWN — It might have been ugly and stagnant to Frankton girls basketball coach Dean Riddle, but his Eagles are going to the Class 2A Sectional 40 championship game on Saturday against host Shenandoah.

Frankton defeated Muncie Burris 46-33 on Friday in the semifinal round, marking their second victory in four nights at Shenandoah High School.

“It was ugly at best, and we didn’t execute mentally, but there are no style points,” said Riddle. “Those are tough games to battle through, and this was a tough game to play coming off a big win (over Wapahani).”

Junior Katie Key led the Eagles with 20 points, two rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes, hitting 9 of 18 field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“Katie is a big part of what we do,” said Riddle. “She’s averaged 28 points in the last three games, and we’ve been a different team since the Lapel game. We have figured some things out.”

Ashtyn Rastetter had eight points, two rebounds, five assists and six steals in 32 minutes, and Marissa Stephens added six points, a game-high 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Payton Dellinger had a 3-pointer, five rebounds and four steals, and Kaylee Irwin chipped in with a basket, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Emily Benefiel led the reserves with four points, two rebounds and three steals.

Frankton shot 40 percent from the field, including 3-of-10 from 3-point range and 9-of-16 from the free throw line. Muncie Burris was at 28 percent shooting, including 1-of-11 from behind the arc and 8-of-14 from the charity stripe.

“We did some decent things defensively and made some adjustments,” said Riddle. “We played with a lot of energy at times. We came over here and found a way to win some games.”

The Eagles had a 34-31 advantage on the boards with both teams getting 12 offensive caroms. Frankton had the edge in points in the paint (24-18), assists (13-4), turnovers (20-23), points off turnovers (18-9) and steals (20-11).

Frankton led 7-6 after the first quarter and 27-14 at the half. The Eagles extended the lead to 38-24 after three quarters and led by as many as 17 points late in the game. There were six lead changes early and one tie in the contest.

Frankton improved to 7-12 overall while Muncie Burris finishes the season at 3-15. Tip-off for the championship game against Shenandoah is at 7:30 p.m.