SHORT GAP - Thursday night was a big night in Short Gap. Not only did the Frankfort Lady Falcons play host to cross-country rival Keyser on the hardwood, it was also senior night, where Frankfort's two seniors, Abby Beeman and Lauren Whiteman, were honored.
By Chapin Jewell
SHORT GAP - Thursday night was a big night in Short Gap. Not only did the Frankfort Lady Falcons play host to cross-country rival Keyser on the hardwood, it was also senior night, where Frankfort’s two seniors, Abby Beeman and Lauren Whiteman, were honored.
Both Beeman and Whiteman made the most of their night in the spotlight, helping to lead the Falcons to a stunning 82-20 victory over Keyser in front of a large crowd.
Beeman is used to the spotlight, and she’s certainly been in it a lot lately after recently eclipsing the 2,000th point of her career. On this night, Abby Beeman delivered as Abby Beeman always does, leading all scorers with 22 points.
In fact, on this night, Beeman actually outscored the entire Keyser team 22-20. Whiteman, consistently a solid contributor off the bench, got the start this night and was able to contribute three points, three rebounds and a steal in the victory.
Overall, Beeman had a monstrous 22 point, 11 assists, seven steals, four rebound, one blocked shot performance. She was followed by four other Falcons scoring in double figures; Marie Perdew with 15 points, Makenna Douthitt and Kaitlyn Crist with 11 points each, and Ashley Phillips with 10. Additionally, Halley Smith contributed seven points, while Izzy Layton and Lauren Whiteman added three points each.
In the loss, Keyser was led by Kearstin Lucas with seven points and Lexi Turner with six. Additionally, Kaili Crowl contributed three points will Paige Foutz and Aubrey Smith added two each.
After the game, Frankfort coach Mike Miller was asked if he expected such a dominating performance.
“Absolutely not. I knew we were focused and ready after the whooping we took to Fairmont Senior. We had some good practices, the girls were still upbeat and positive. So I’m not surprised that they would come out and play well, I’m just surprised by how well and the outcome of the game,” Miller explained.
It was a game Frankfort dominated from start to finish. The Falcons jumped out to a 16-6 lead by the end of the first period. Keyser’s Kearstin Lucas and Aubrey Smith actually scored the first two baskets of the game to give the Lady Tornado a quick 4-0 lead. Frankfort would then go on a 13-0 run to take a 13-4 lead. After that, a pair of baskets was traded with the first period score ending up 16-6 to Frankfort’s advantage.
Frankfort would hold Keyser to a mere five points in the second period while erupting for 26 points of their own. This included an 11-0 Frankfort run from the 4:36 mark down to 2:30 remaining in the half. After being held to two points in the first period, Abby Beeman exploded with 12 second period points, nine of which came from three straight three-pointers. The Falcons entered halftime with a commanding 42-11 lead.
After halftime, the Falcons would outscore Keyser 40-9 to earn the 82-20 victory. Frankfort would open the third period with a 10-0 run. They would close the period by outscoring Keyser 14-1 in the final 3:30. Frankfort would start the fourth period on an 11-0 run as well.
In total, throughout the game, Frankfort had runs of 13-0, 11-0, 10-0, and 11-0 to gain the sizeable point spread and outscore Keyser by 62 points.
Frankfort only defeated Keyser by nine in the first matchup between the two teams on December 14 (63-54). Nobody would or could have anticipated the 62 point spread in this game.
“It’s amazing when you play relaxed, just have fun and go back to not being stressed or pressured the way that Fairmont Senior pressured us. It’s just nice to go out there and not have to worry about anything, just play the game of basketball,” Frankfort coach Mike Miller said after the game.
As the varsity game progressed, there became little doubt as to the outcome. The junior varsity game that preceded the main event, however, was full of twists and turns, capped off by a dramatic overtime finish.
Frankfort would actually end the first period with a 20-0 lead. In the second period, however, the junior Falcons were held scoreless, while Keyser managed to get on the board with 10 points. At the half, Frankfort led 20-10.
Keyser would outscore Frankfort 11-9 in the third period to narrow the gap to 29-21. In the fourth period, the junior Tornado dominated Frankfort 11-3 to force overtime with the score knotted up at 32 points apiece. In overtime, Keyser edged Frankfort 4-2 to earn the 36-34 victory.
In the junior varsity win, Keyser was led by Ally Streets with 14 points followed by Maddy Broadwater with eight. In the junior varsity loss, Frankfort was led by Izzy Layton with 15 points, followed by Michelle Phillips and Mckenzie Long with five points each.
After the loss, Keyser’s varsity record moved to 10-7. The Lady Tornado dropped two straight after winning six of their seven previous games. They then traveled to face Southern on the road Saturday, followed by road trips to Allegany on Monday, Feb. 4, and Mountain Ridge this Thursday, Feb. 7.
With the win, Frankfort moved to 13-4 overall, winners of 11 of their last 13 games. They traveled to face Northern Saturday, before traveling to Berkeley Springs today and to Philip Barbour this Friday, Feb. 8.
Frankfort will look to use this game as a springboard to help them finish the remainder of their regular season schedule strong. For Keyser, just as Frankfort boys coach Scott Slider said of this team’s shocking loss to Berkeley Springs, will look to put this game behind them and learn from it. As was stated in the article about the Frankfort boys’ loss to Berkeley Springs, the nice thing about a basketball season is that they’re long, and a single bad loss need not derail a season.
There is plenty of girls basketball left to play for both Frankfort and Keyser. It is likely the two could meet again. Who knows what surprise that game could bring?