By Heather Bremer
For The Herald Bulletin
FRANKTON, Ind. —
Undermanned and outgunned, the Blue River girls basketball team didn’t stand a chance Saturday night against the K-and-K combination of the Frankton Eagles.
Frankton senior Kelsey Key scored 38 points and sister Katie added 18 to lead the Eagles in a 78-32 romp over the Vikings.
The winning margin was wide, but the play wasn’t always pretty. Frankton coach Dean Riddle was disappointed to see his team’s discipline lapse in the first half against the less-talented Vikings.
“We overplayed a lot, over-ran things,” Riddle said. “Offensively, we took too quick of shots. We weren’t willing to get more reversal. Once we settled down a little bit, it got better. Execution and patience maybe need to get a little bit better but, in their defense, it’s a tough game.”
Kelsey Key got the Eagles off to a quick start, scoring her team’s first 12 points. Blue River’s Brenna Koontz tried to keep the Vikings in the game with a pair of 3-pointers. But the pesky hands of the Eagles’ defense kept knocking the ball free, leading to easy lay-ins, free throws and a 12-0 run for Frankton. The Eagles led 24-13 at the end of the first quarter.
It was more of the same in the second quarter. The Eagles continued to build on their lead, but played “out of control and undisciplined” on both ends of the court. Though Frankton took a 40-22 lead into halftime, the Eagles coach had a few things he expected to change after the break.
“We made some rules at halftime about some defensive problems we had in the first half,” Riddle said. “I thought we reacted to that pretty well. The defensive effort was a little bit better, particularly from a fundamentals standpoint.”
Riddle’s squad stuck to the rules in the second half, still pestering the Vikings into turnovers but finishing off steals with layups and working the ball for better shots. Following a drive to the basket from Blue River’s Olivia Slover that drew the Vikings within 20 at 48-28, the Eagles went on a 22-0 run. Frankton finished the game on a 30-4 tear.
“That’s some exposure to our discipline that we needed. We gotta learn in close games that nondiscipline hurts you,” Riddle said. “Westfield exposed some things for us on Tuesday. And Blue River exposed some things tonight. That’s what it’s all about, just get better game to game.”
Kelsey Key’s 38 points led all scorers. She was 14-of-32 from the field and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Riddle has high expectations for his senior and made a point to express those to her.
“We’ve worked awfully hard with her on finishing with contact inside. And I didn’t feel like she did a very good job of that tonight,” Riddle said. “She’s gotta do a better job of that. When she’s got bodies on her, people slapping her, she’s still got to put the ball in the basket.”
Katie Key’s 18 points came on 6-of-13 shooting and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Natalie McGuire added 5 points for the Eagles, as did junior guard Carleigh Tucker, whose greater contribution came in setting up her teammates for baskets.
“I thought she in transition looked up the floor, had her head up, hit people in stride, did some nice things that way, took care of the ball,” Riddle said.
Koontz led Blue River with 16 points, including four 3-point baskets.
The Eagles face Pendleton Heights on Saturday. Coach Riddle hasn’t seen the Arabians in person yet, but looks forward to next weekend’s game.
“It will be a nice rivalry,” Riddle said.