The Frankton Eagles entered sectional play with a 20-3 record and seemed to be poised for another deep tournament run.
Then, on Feb. 26, the day the Eagles were set to face Monroe Central at Elwood to open their postseason, those hopes for another title seemed to be dashed before the run could even start.
Senior center Rylan Detling was rushed to the hospital that day for an emergency appendectomy. The surgery began at about the time the Eagles were to take the court that evening. Although they were able to dispatch the Golden Bears in the first round and Sheridan in the semifinals, a much tougher Wapahani team awaited them in the championship game.
But there was Detling, just four days after surgery, warming up with the team in pregame and in the starting lineup against the Raiders. In the game, he scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and was 7-of-9 at the foul stripe, helping lift the Eagles to a come from behind 53-50 win and a sectional championship.
For this remarkable turnaround, the Frankton senior has been named the 2018-19 THB Sports Awards Boys Comeback Player of the Year.
Detling, a career 1,000-point scorer at Frankton, will continue his academic and basketball career in the fall at Hanover College.