Lady Falcons top Spring Mills 56-40 with strong second half

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
The trio of Marie Perdew (31) with 25 points, Halley Smith (22) with 13 points, and Izzy Layton (3) with 9 points, led Frankfort to a 56-40 victory over Spring Mills on Wednesday.

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

SPRING MILLS - The Frankfort Lady Falcons got off to a cold start in both the first and second periods of their game at Spring Mills on Wednesday night.  

At the conclusion of the first period, Frankfort found themselves trailing the host Cardinals 8-4.  At the end of the second period, Spring Mills maintained a four point lead with the Cardinals holding an 18-14 lead heading into the locker rooms at halftime.

A flip switched for the Falcons after halftime. With inspired play in the third period, Frankfort went on a 7-2 run after halftime and at the 5:00 mark of the third period, took their first lead, 21-20. They would outscore the Cardinals 16-9 in the third frame to earn a 30-27 advantage heading into the fourth period.

The fourth and final period belonged to Frankfort, to be more specific, the fourth and final period belonged to Frankfort junior Marie Perdew. The Falcons doubled up Spring Mills 26-13 in the game’s final stanza to earn a 56-40 victory.  Perdew accounted for 15 of those 26 points in the final frame, nailing four three pointers and hitting three out of four attempted foul shots. Halley Smith had a huge fourth period well, scoring eight points.

In total, Perdew led the Frankfort attack with 25 total points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists.  Junior Halley Smith also finished in double figures for the Falcons with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Senior Izzy Layton contributed nine points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Rounding out the scoring for Frankfort was Michelle Phillips with four points, Larae Grove added three points, six rebounds and two steals, and Arin Lease with two points and two rebounds.

In the loss, Mya Griffin and Ella Hawkins led Spring Mills with 11 points apiece. Ashiya Domer contributed six points, Faith Bush tallied four points, Kami Cool and Emily Cole three points each, and Ella Jones one point.

Frankfort head coach Mike Miller was less than thrilled with his team’s performance early in the game and wasted little time in expressing his displeasure during the team’s first time out. In the post-game interview, Miller, in one strong word, categorized his team’s early play as “disgusting.”  At the same time, however, Miller praised the team for rising to the occasion and grabbing the win with a strong second half.

“Disgusting. With the year that we’ve had up to this point, you know it was bad to say the least. But at the same time, the girls fought back, battled through a lot of adversity tonight, and in the end, got it done when it counted,” Miller stated.

So what was the difference in the second half?

“Intensity was the difference. I told the girls we needed to pick it up on the defensive end and we weren’t rebounding very well and we weren’t making any shots. So, I figured if we could just raise the tempo a little bit, try to get some steals, we could get something going,” Miller stated

According to Miller, “I just wanted to find a way to just make consecutive baskets, just to get something going, to get something positive going to give them some confidence.  It took awhile, we finally got there, and that’s a tribute to them not giving up.”

Frankfort was able to pull away in the fourth period with that offensive explosion from Marie Perdew (15 points in the fourth) and Halley Smith (eight points in the fourth). Senior Izzy Layton’s nine total points were indicative of her solid performance.

“That’s where we cross our t’s and dot our i’s, Marie and Halley are going to have to carry us. Izzy Layton showed up tonight, there were several of them that made some key plays down the stretch. We’ve got to learn to rebound better and get after it a little bit more, but yes, Marie caught a little fire there at the end.  When you’re on fire, let it rip. I trust her with it, she poured it on for sure,” Miller explained.

In the junior varsity game, it was all Spring Mills. The junior Cardinals led 12-0 at the end of the first period and 23-2 at halftime. The junior Falcons did pick up the scoring in the second half.  By the end of the third period, Spring Mills led 37-9, and at the final buzzer, the final tally was 53-20 in favor of the Cardinals.

Keleigh Pownall led the junior Cardinals with a game-high 23 points. Troy Hery and Faith Bush added seven points apiece, Paige Vermillon, Chloe Irving, and Emily Gutierre tallied four points apiece, and Blair Hesen and Ella Hawkins two points apiece.

In the loss, the junior Falcons’ 20 total points were accumulated by eight different scorers. Grace Scott led the way with four points, Madi Ruble added three points, and Kelsey Smith, Chloe Kauffman, Veronica Vanmeter, Alivia Talley, and Lilyan Mills two points apiece. Ashlynn Crowe closed out the scoring with one point.

Up next for Frankfort (1-0) is a trip to Sunrise Heights Friday to take on the Hampshire Lady Trojans in both varsity and junior varsity action.  Junior varsity action tips off at 6 p.m., with varsity action to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Frankfort’s Coach Miller expects a spirited, tough contest against Hampshire, Frankfort’s neighbor and rival.

“Hampshire didn’t really lose anybody, so they’re going to be decent. They’re a scrappy team, they’re well coached, and we expect a little bit of the same thing going into their house too, it’s always a tough place to play. We’re not counting on them to be down by any stretch of the imagination. They always play us physical, but we’ll be prepared for it,” Miller explained.