By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
FRANKTON, Ind. —
After sleep walking through the first half the Frankton girls basketball team finally woke from their slumber to trounce visiting Eastbrook 74-46 on Saturday at the Eagles Nest.
Frankton’s Kelsey Key came into the game averaging nearly 35 points per game. That number went up after the Northern Kentucky recruit scored 42 points against the Panthers.
Despite the blowout victory, Eastbrook (4-3, 2-1 CIC) appeared as though they were going to make it a game in the first half.
They held a 10-5 lead before Eagles coach Dean Riddle called a timeout and woke his girls up, shouting instructions that the whole gym could hear.
Riddle’s tirade worked as his team went on a 13-5 run to finish the quarter and grabbed an 18-15 lead after the first eight minutes.
Key paced her team with 11 of her team’s 18 points in the quarter, and they would never trail again the rest of the game.
The early afternoon start might have been partially attributable to the slow start by the Eagles (6-2, 2-0 CIC).
“It’s a different feel playing in the morning,” said Key of the matinée start time. “We haven’t played in morning yet. I don’t know, I guess we just weren’t ready to play. I can’t say anything more than that. We just didn’t get ourselves ready.”
Key said that this game made her team realize that if they are going to win the Central Indiana Conference championship, they have to play hard every game.
“We definitely just got to keep playing hard every night,” she said. “If we don’t bring it one night somebody can sneak up and beat us. The conference is wide open this year. There’s not any team that’s just like out there standing alone. I think now we’re the only undefeated team in the conference, but we still have to win out. We can’t afford to lose, so we have to bring it every night.”
Frankton brought it in the second half by out scoring the Panthers 36-14.
Riddle said that nothing changed from the first half to the second except that his team got a little more mentally focused.
“We just weren’t mentally prepared to play,” he said. “We didn’t change players at halftime, we didn’t change coaches, we didn’t change the game plan, we didn’t change anything, we just went out and executed instead of going out unprepared. That’s why they say a large part of the game’s mental, and we just weren’t mentally ready to play.”
Riddle said he thought his team put together a great effort, and he said that despite Key’s 42 points on 15-of-28 shooting from the field and 11-of-12 from the free throw line he still feels like she can be better.
“She’s a great shooter, she’s a great scorer, but even great scorers, if they take bad shots, aren’t going to be efficient,” he said of Key’s game. “She needs to be more efficient from that standpoint. She did make her free throws, which she’s been doing. She’s had a good year at the line, and she’s just a good player.”
Key is leading the state with 35.6 points per game after the Eastbrook game. Her next closest competitor is Sara Dickey of Riverton Parke at 23.9.
Key also led her team with eight rebounds.
Her sister Katie Key had eight points and six boards, while Carleigh Tucker, which Riddle admits is a integral part of how well the team plays, finished with six points.
Eastbrook was led by Kerri Guffey’s 16 points and Brooke Saylor’s 14 points and eight caroms.