By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
FRANKTON, Ind. —
Kelsey Key stole the show and nearly the school record as she went off for 46 points in Frankton’s 79-13 drubbing of Liberty Christian on Tuesday at the Eagles’ Nest.
As a team the Eagles (3-2) held Liberty Christian scoreless through the first 13:25 of the game and held a 38-0 lead before Michaela Levell was able to get the Lions on the scoreboard.
Key had 26 points by the half, and her team had grabbed a 45-2 lead.
Frankton coach Dean Riddle admitted that Key easily could’ve broken the school record of 53 points, but he said he took her out with 4:08 left in the game out of respect for the Lions.
“I just think you respect your opponent there,” said Riddle. “And to be honest with you, in my younger days, I probably wouldn’t have taken her out. I think that’s just the right thing to do.”
Riddle said that Key could get the scoring record a lot of nights, but he added that’s not her goal.
“She has nothing to prove,” Riddle said. “I could make sure that she gets the scoring record a lot of nights, but that’s not what we’re here for. And that’s not what she’s here for.”
Key ended the night 16-of-27 from the field and 7-of-12 from 3-point range. She also made all seven of her shots from the charity stripe, while leading her team with nine boards.
Kelli Carter set the school record for points in a game against Daleville on Feb. 8, 2000.
Carleigh Tucker was the only other Eagle in double figures with 12 points, and she added five caroms.
Liberty Christian had too many breakdowns with 23 first-half turnovers and 35 for the game.
Lions coach Paul Jessup said he was proud of his girls’ intensity throughout the game.
He also sang the praises of Key and added that her composure is what separates her from other good basketball players.
“She’s probably one of the calmest players that we’ve faced,” said Jessup. “A lot of people have the talent, but it seems like she has a good head on her shoulders, good basketball knowledge, and she just seems calm and relaxed. That’s pretty impressive.”
Jessup commended his team for playing with intensity from start to finish despite the fact they knew they were going against one of the better players and teams in the county.
“There’s no question about it, they’re a talented team,” he said. “I was actually very proud of the fact that anybody around here knows they’re a talented team including our girls, but for Liberty to come out with that kind of intensity, knowing that they are going against that kind of a team, I couldn’t have been more proud.”
Briana Ayers led the Lions with five points, all of which came in the fourth quarter. Levell led Liberty Christian with nine rebounds.