Lady Falcons route Preston 66-38

Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
Frankfort battles hard for a basket against Preston.

SHORT GAP - It wasn’t on the original schedule, but in the ebbs and flows of sports scheduling in the COVID era, Frankfort’s Lady Falcons ended up hosting the Preston Lady Knights on the hardwood in Short Gap Wednesday night.  

Preston, playing in the AAAA classification in basketball, represents the fourth separate team, and fifth separate game out of seven games total, in which Frankfort has played a AAAA opponent. The Lady Falcons, with a 66-38 route of Preston, are now a perfect 5-0 against AAAA opponents and 6-1 overall. Frankfort competes in the AA classification.

Through the first eight minutes of play, Preston gave Frankfort everything they could handle. Using a balanced, aggressive attack that saw five separate players score, the Lady Knight jumped out to a 13-12 lead at the conclusion of the first period.  

From then on, however, it would be all Frankfort. The Lady Falcons exploded for 23 points in the second period and held Preston to 12 points to take a 10-point, 35-25 lead at halftime. Marié Perdew scored 14 points of her game-high 30 points in the second frame; Halley Smith scored seven of her 18 points in the second frame as well.

In the third period, Frankfort outpaced Preston 18-7 in the third period to give the Falcons a 53-32 heading in to the final stanza.  In the fourth period, Frankfort more than doubled up Preston (13-6) to earn the decisive, 28-point, 66-38 victory.

After the game, Frankfort’s coach Mike Miller was asked about the difference between the outcome of the game’s first period compared to the final three.

“Adjustments. We made the necessary adjustments. We were getting beat down the court again. They were taking the ball and I have never seen a team just get it and go like that, and they were doing it well. We weren’t prepared for that, and I think that after the first quarter, we got the feel for them, and the adjustments that we made were big,” Miller explained.

Neither team had much time to prepare for the other.

According to Miller, “We didn’t know we were even going to play them. I was talking to the East Fairmont coach about possibly playing us, but they were actually in quarantine, and he told us that Preston was available because they were supposed to play them. So, we pulled some strings and lined everything up and it worked out.”

Miller was asked if he thought there would be a competitive edge gained from the Lady Falcons squad having competed now in five games out of seven against AAAA opponents.

“It definitely can’t hurt. We like playing games like this, which prepares us for our ultimate goal, which is to be playing our best basketball at the end of the year. We think playing this caliber of teams will benefit us in the long run,” Miller stated.

Marié Perdew led Frankfort and all scorers with a game-high 30 points. In seven games, Perdew has now scored 25, 32, 36, 25, 27, 26 and 30 points, for an average of 28.7 points per game.  Halley Smith was second in scoring with 18 points. Larae Grove added five points, Emily Smith and Mackenzie Long contributed four points apiece, Michelle Phillips three points, and Arin Lease two points.

Perdew and Smith continue to lead the way for Frankfort game after game, with the dynamic junior duo consisting finishing first and second in scoring and in all other facets of the game.

“They are troopers, I tell you, they get it done. They played that zone and Marié was knocking down shots she couldn’t miss. I thought they would come out of that zone sooner, they didn’t, so we told her to just keep loading up and let them fly,” Miller stated. “Then, when they would come out, that’s when Halley would drive behind them. She got some shots from the foul line and she hit a couple threes. There was a stretch there where she hit five or seven points in a row that I thought was huge.”

In the loss, Preston was led by Michelle Thomas with 10 points and Madlin Annon and Carsynn Sines with nine points apiece.  Leah Elliott and Regan Knotts tallied three points apiece while Izzy Stahl and Hannah Cramer contributed two points each.

The junior varsity contest was a thriller. Frankfort led 9-5 at the end of the first period. Preston gained the lead in the second and the two teams went into the locker rooms at halftime with the visitors leading 24-20.  Preston maintained a 39-33 lead heading into the fourth period.

That’s when the excitement came. With Frankfort trailing 45-43, Frankfort’s Veronica VanMeter hit a three-pointer with seconds remaining to elevate the junior Falcons to a 46-45 victory.

VanMeter led the junior Lady Falcons in scoring with 14 points, also in double figures was Grace Scott with 10 points. Lilyan Mills added nine points, Chloe Kauffman six points, Madi Ruble four points, and Lara Bittinger three points.

The junior Knights were led by Emma Wilson with 14 points, Ella White and Alayna Wilson with eight points apiece, and Kendall Stiks with seven points. Delaynie Myers added five points and Emma Burns three points.

The varsity Lady Falcons, now 6-1, will have a bit of a break before they host sectional opponent Petersburg in a huge matchup on Tuesday, March 23. Junior varsity action begins at 6 p.m., with varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.