FRANKTON — The gym is empty now, save for a few stragglers emerging from the home locker room.
Just a few short months ago, however, it was the place to be in Madison County. The Eagles' Nest was bursting at the seams on nearly every game day this winter.
When the Frankton varsity players stole a peek through the doors during the second quarter of a December game against Wapahani, they saw a gym already filled to capacity. In February, students lined up in the hallway outside the gymnasium around 3 p.m. — just after school let out — to make sure they reserved a seat for a highly anticipated rematch against rival Lapel.
"There were three or four games that were sold out, and they had to turn people away at the door," Aaron Korn says, sitting in the first row of bleachers and looking around the gymnasium as though if he strained just enough he could still hear the fans' roar. "It was just crazy."
Many of them were there to see No. 23, the 6-foot-5 guard who carried the community's hopes and dreams upon his shoulders. And, far more often than not, The Herald Bulletin's 2014 Boys Basketball Player of the Year delivered.
There was a 47-point game at Muncie Central in February, during which Korn set a school single-game scoring record and shot an incredible 18-for-21 from the field. There was a 21-point effort in that December win against Wapahani that helped the Eagles rise to No. 2 in the Class 2A state poll. And there was a 30-point showing against Lapel to help reward the students' early bird loyalty and even the season series against the Bulldogs.
As Korn looked around the now empty gym, he easily could catch a glimpse of the banner to his left displaying Frankton's 2012 sectional championship — the first for the boys basketball program in 91 years of competition. To the far right sits a tote board with his name atop the school's career scoring list after he finished with 1,994 points. Directly before him lies the court where the Eagles earned 13 of their school-record 21 victories this season.