SHORT GAP - Back on Dec. 17, Frankfort dispatched the Grafton Bearcats 78-31 in this year's lone previous meeting between the two teams.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
SHORT GAP - Back on Dec. 17, Frankfort dispatched the Grafton Bearcats 78-31 in this year’s lone previous meeting between the two teams.  
The only way things might have turned out differently in Thursday night’s sectional matchup between the two teams is if Frankfort had entered some gigantic slump nearing the end of the regular season.
Unfortunately for Grafton, rather than slumping, the Lady Falcons have been red hot in recent weeks, riding a five-game winning streak that’s seen them literally destroy every team in their path.  So it was business as usual for both teams as Frankfort routed Grafton 73-34 Thursday night to advance to the sectional final, to be played tonight at 7 p.m. at Frankfort against Petersburg.
Frankfort would dominate from start to finish, jumping out to a decided 26-6 advantage by the end of the first period. Frankfort started the game on a 19-0 run. The Falcons slowed their pace a bit in the second period, outscoring the Bearcats 14-8 to take a commanding 40-14 lead into halftime.
After halftime, Frankfort’s dominance would continue. Outscoring Grafton 21-12 in the third period, the Lady Falcons enjoyed a 61-26 lead entering the fourth. In the final stanza, Frankfort edged Grafton 12-8 to secure the 73-34 victory.
Junior Makenna Douthitt led the Falcons with an impressive 23 points, six rebounds, two assists, three steals performance.  Abby Beeman would finish second in scoring with 18 points and added seven rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. Macie Miller was next with 14 points, three rebounds and two blocks.  Miller hit four three-point shots.
Also contributing for the Falcons were Marie Perdew with seven points, Halley Smith with four, Ashley Phillips with three and Izzy Layton and Kaitlyn Crist with two points apiece.
With the victory, Frankfort improves their record to an impressive 18-4 on the season. Those losses have come to Morgantown, Bridgeport, defending state champion North Marion and Fairmont Senior.  
While AAA Morgantown is out of the picture, the Falcons could get another shot at Bridgeport, North Marion and Fairmont Senior. A Bridgeport matchup would have to come in Charleston should the teams make it to the State Tournament, but North Marion and Fairmont Senior are possible regional opponents.
Frankfort will host a Petersburg squad in the sectional Saturday that is fresh off a come-from-behind 61-52 victory over Keyser.  Keyser led through the first three periods before Petersburg had runs of 12-0 and 6-0 in the final frame to earn the nine point victory.  The second seed Petersburg defeated third seed Keyser three times on the season, by 10, five, and nine points.
Head to head, Frankfort scored two wins against Petersburg in back-to-back games on Dec. 27 and Jan. 2 by scores of 74-41 and 60-25, an average margin of 34 points per game.  As such, especially considering the manner in which Frankfort has recently been dominating opponents, on paper, the Lady Falcons are a decided favorite to capture the sectional championship.
Abby Beeman, Frankfort’s senior sensation and a Shepherd University signee, has been putting up big numbers all year, be it scoring or in all the other categories that make her a complete ball player. She makes those around her better with her play, and the Falcons have seen others step up and contribute throughout the season.
Of late, Makenna Douthitt has been lighting up the scoreboard and contributing in many ways, and Douthitt has been joined by a supporting cast of contributors from the freshmen on up.  With Beeman leading the way, and the Falcons continuing to play team ball, the sky is the limit for this talented squad.