By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Frankton High School isn’t exactly thought of as a “cradle of coaches” like Miami of Ohio is in the collegiate ranks. But maybe it should be.
Two of the school’s products won girls basketball sectional titles Saturday night; Tod Windlan at Hamilton Heights and Shane Sumpter at Westfield. One other alum, Dean Riddle at Frankton, came close before falling in the final quarter.
“I was hoping we’d go three-for-three,” said Windlan. “Dean had a great chance, but they just came up short at the end.”
Windlan and Sumpter have more of a connection than just being alumni of the same school. Both also coached at the school at the same time.
“Tod was the seventh-grade coach, and I was the eighth-grade coach,” said Sumpter. “We were both working for Dean (during his first stint as Frankton’s girls coach). I am proud of my Frankton ties and my Madison County ties. We live in Lapel. My wife teaches there.”
That both played basketball at Frankton and went on to be coaches is no accident. For many years, the Eagles were guided by Calvin Bayley and Rex Bauchert.
“If you paid attention (in high school), you could learn a lot,” said Sumpter.
Obviously both did.
This year the two coaches combined to win 41 times and lose just four.
Hamilton Heights won three sectional games by an average of 30 points, rolling over Muncie South, Muncie Central and Yorktown. Westfield had a much tougher time, winning by an average of 14 points counting a two-point victory over Hamilton Southeastern in the title game.
“We had some really good quarters,” said Windlan of his team’s sectional performance. “The good thing is we haven’t put together a full game yet.”
Some amazing balance and the ability to score quickly are huge assets for the Huskies.
“We can score in bunches,” admitted Windlan. “We shoot the ball extremely well. We start four guards so we have great ball handling. All five of our starters have had one or more games where they have scored 20 points. Most teams play us zone to take away the penetration and then just hope we don’t hit.”
In the sectional title game, Hamilton Heights hit 10 3-pointers.
Now the Huskies journey to the Bellmont Regional to face Norwell (21-3).
Westfield goes to Kokomo to take on Fort Wayne South (21-3).
“We had a total team effort (in the sectional),” said Sumpter. “We have two (NCAA) Division I kids. But each game we have other kids step up. In (the title game) Terese Wade, who comes off the bench, hit a big 3. There are not many sectionals as good as the one we came through this year.”
Both coaches spent Sunday preparing to get game films on first-round opponents and potential regional foes. There will be much time spent this week preparing for Saturday. There will be many opportunities for that Frankton background to serve them well.