FRANKTON — Aaron Korn led four players in double figures with 21 points, Austin Compton literally spilled his blood on the floor for the cause and the Frankton boys basketball team gained a measure of revenge Friday night with a 71-52 rout of Wapahani.
"I thought we played very well as a team tonight," Frankton coach Brent Brobston said. "It was a great team win, and we played very well overall."
The Eagles (6-0) fell to the Raiders (5-1) in double overtime some nine months ago in the Class 2A Sectional 40 championship game at Lapel. The rematch at the Eagles Nest pitted two of the top-five teams in the Associated Press poll, but it was a one-sided contest nearly from the start.
Fourth-ranked Frankton sprinted to a 9-3 lead in the first 3:02 and never looked back. The key was the team's trademark defense, which never gave No. 2 Wapahani room to breathe.
Raiders star Grant Evans failed to make a field goal in the first half and finished just 4-for-11 from the field. He still managed to share team-high honors with 16 points, matching Jacob Foster. Seven different Eagles took turns defending Evans, and all were effective.
"I thought we did a very good job defensively against Grant Evans," Brobston said, "and that made a big difference."
In the battle of Indiana All-Star candidates, Korn was the clear winner. He scored a game-high 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting and made Wapahani pay every time its defense overplayed him. He also jump-started the Eagles' offense, making his first three 3-point attempts and bringing a capacity crowd to a roar.
"Korn started off very well," Brobston said. "Offensively, in the first quarter, he did a great job of finding open shots and really got us going."
The 6-foot-5 swingman dished out four assists, and three of his teammates joined him in double figures. Jordan Reeves added 16 points, and Nick Wright finished with 10.
Compton, the Eagles' 6-foot-1 point guard, left the court with 3:26 remaining in the first half after sustaining a cut above his right eye. He returned a little less than 90 seconds later before heading off the court for good when the bleeding 6:34 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The guard ultimately needed stitches to close his wound, but it never slowed him down.
"Austin Compton is a winner," Brobston said. "That's the word that describes him best. He's going to get seven or eight stitches in his eye, and he just kept playing until it started bleeding again. Nothing speaks to his toughness more than that."
By then, he'd already racked up 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds, and Frankton held a comfortable 59-37 advantage.
Wapahani won the battle of the boards 33-24, and the game was physical throughout. But Frankton proved it can stand up to the Raiders and established itself as the favorite to win its second sectional championship in three years.
In the immediate future, however, the Eagles must get refocused for a trip to Wes-Del tonight. Frankton also will host Shenandoah on Monday in a rescheduled contest from earlier this month.
"We just have to continue to try to get better all season long," Brobston said, "so when we get to the sectional in March we are playing our best basketball."