Outside shots just haven’t been falling for Frankton’s Bre Shively this season.

So, when she saw the Highland defense sag back against her early in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, it would have been easy for the 5-foot-11 junior to have second thoughts about taking the shot.

Lucky for the Eagles, she didn’t.

Shively hit a pair of 3-pointers to ignite an 8-0 Frankton run, breaking a 41-41 tie and leading the Eagles to a much-needed 68-57 victory.

“Oh, my gosh. It’s the best feeling in the world,” Shively said. “I’ve been struggling from the 3-point line. But they were playing so far off me, I thought to myself, ‘I just have to shoot this.’”

Frankton coach Stephan Hamaker was ecstatic to see Shively snap out of her slump.

“She hit some big 3s for us,” he said. “We knew she was capable of it.”

The Eagles (10-6) spread the big shots around. Three players scored at least 14 points, and Frankton finished nearly 20 points above its season average.

Highland’s defensive effort didn’t leave a positive impression with coach Tod Windlan.

“Our defense was so bad tonight it was embarrassing,” he said. “Lauren Hendricks absolutely ate us alive inside. We had no answer for her.”

Hendricks, averaging a double-double this season, scored 20 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Frankton outrebounded the Scots as a team 43-26.

“(Hendricks) has been seeing a lot of double- and triple-teams all year long,” Hamaker said. “But they didn’t really do that tonight. They tried to trap us and put a lot of pressure on our guards. But our guards did a phenomenal job of handling it.”

Frankton started the game on a 7-0 run and led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Eagles pushed their lead to 22-13 midway through the second quarter, but the Scots (5-13) ended the period on an 8-4 run.

Despite an emotional pregame ceremony honoring senior guard Emily Jones and manager Kendra Pardue, Highland seemed to start the game with little enthusiasm.

“They out-toughed us,” Windlan said. “They wanted it a little more than we did, and that’s sad to say when you’re playing your last home game of the year. Frankton deserved to win this game. They outplayed us from the opening tap.”

Highland tied the game at 33-33 midway through the third quarter, but Frankton responded with another 7-0 run. Krosley Ogden hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Eagles’ lead to 40-38 entering the fourth quarter.

Ogden then tied the game 41-41 with a 3-pointer early in the final period, but that only set up Shively’s heroics.

Shively said she put her shooting slump out of her mind, and that made all the difference.

“Some times when the defense comes out to meet me, I start to think,” she said. “Usually when I think before I shoot, it doesn’t go in.”

Shively finished with 14 points, and Mollie Hamilton matched that total for the Eagles. Hamilton hit three 3-pointers in the first half as Frankton built its lead.

“She was the ignitor for us in the first quarter,” Hamaker said. “This game wouldn’t have been a victory for us without her.”

Jessica Lark led Highland with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but she sat out the start of the fourth quarter with four fouls. Ogden added 16 points for the Scots, and Jones finished with 10.

The game starts a stretch of four road trips in the final five regular-season games for the Eagles, and Hamaker said it was key to get a win.

“I don’t know if I would say this was a must-win,” he said. “But it was another point in the season where we were in jeopardy of spinning out of control. It was a big win for us.”

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