Frankfort comeback stings the Yellow Jackets

Chapin Jewell
Special to the News Tribune
Frankfort's Brady Whitacre drives to the basket against Moorefield.  A second half comeback by Frankfort gave the Falcons the victory Wednesday.
Frankfort's Jake Clark stares down his Moorefield opponent Wednesday.  Clark led the Falcons with 16 points in the victory.

SHORT GAP - The Frankfort Falcons started the 2021 basketball season on a six-game losing streak, in a span that saw three of their six opponents come from the AAAA division, and another from the AAA ranks. The Falcons then earned their first victory of the season at Keyser on March 25 and looked to get their second straight as the hosted Moorefield on Wednesday.

Mission accomplished, but it wouldn’t be easy.  Facing a 20-10 halftime deficit, yes, that’s right, the Falcons had scored only 10 points at the half, Frankfort fought back in the second half to earn their second straight win by a final tally of 46-39.

“Were we even there in the first half?  We had five guys on the court but it didn’t look like they were there,” Frankfort coach Scott Slider stated.  “We just couldn’t get going.  Offensively, we really struggled to execute.  Defensively, we were decent.  They scored 20 points, we did good things defensively.  When you hold a team to 20 points in a half, that’s not bad.”

Despite being doubled up in scoring in the first half, the deficit was still only 10 points, not a very wide margin in the overall scheme of things.

“Possession by possession, you can get back in the ball game.  If you can stop them and then get a score, then obviously you’re moving up all the time, that’s what the goal was,” Slider explained.

Moorefield opened the game with back-to-back three-pointers to grab a quick 6-0 lead.  Frankfort would get on the board with four points of their own, but the visiting Yellow Jackets would score six more points to grab a 12-4 lead at the end of the first period.

Moorefield would hold the advantage in the second period as well, edging Frankfort in scoring 8-6 in the second frame to take a 10-point, 20-10 advantage at halftime.  Despite being doubled up, the Falcons still found themselves by a margin of 10 points.  

“Well, at halftime, we told them how important it is to win these sectional games so we can be ranked number one in our section.  That helps us out, obviously, playoff wise.  I told them it was a matter of, if we want to be number one, we’ve got to win.  If we don’t win tonight, it really puts us behind the eight ball,” Slider explained.

Frankfort would mount a serious comeback in the third period.  The Falcons would outpace Moorefield 15-8 in the third period to inch to within only three points (28-25) entering the final stanza.

One basket into the fourth period and the Moorefield lead was trimmed to one point (28-27).  At the 6:40 mark, Jake Clark sunk two free throws to put Frankfort up for the first time in the contest by one point, 29-28.  Jansen Moreland then extended the Frankfort lead to three points (31-28) with a bucket in the paint with 5:45 remaining in the game.

Bryson Lane then hit a three-pointer with 5:10 remaining to extend the newfound Frankfort lead to sic points (34-28) with 5:10 remaining.  Moorefield hit a free throw at the 5:02 mark to cut the lead to five points (34-29) before calling a timeout.  A steal and a bucket by the Yellow Jackets then trimmed the lead to three (34-31) with 4:55 remaining.

Jake Clark went back to the line at the 4:49 mark and sunk two free throws to extend the Falcons lead back out to five points (36-31).  At this point, a lull in the action for over almost three minutes would see both teams go scoreless.  

Jake Clark then went to the line and sunk a pair of free throws with 2:05 remaining to extend the Frankfort lead to seven points (38-31).  Moorefield’s # 11 quickly responded with a three pointer at the other end to cut the Frankfort lead to four points (38-34) with 1:47 remaining in the game.  

A foul on the inbounds sent Bryceten Daubenmire to the line for Frankfort.  Daubenmire connected on the first of two free throws to extend the Frankfort lead to 39-34 with 1:47 remaining.  Moorefield scored to cut the lead to three points.  A Jansen Moreland bucket then put the Falcons back up five points (41-36) with 1:06 remaining.  

A pair of Brady Whitacre free throws with 49 seconds remaining extended the Frankfort lead to seven points (43-36).  The final Frankfort scores would come on a Jake Clark layup and made free throw to give the Falcons the 46-39 victory.  

“I think overall, we recognized some of the mistakes we made in the first half and corrected those.  We executed better,” Slider stated.  “Jake Clark had another good ball game, he did a lot of good things for us, a lot of good pick and rolls, stuff like that.  The kids are starting to recognize things more.  We intend to play basketball like we did in the second half for the rest of the season,” Slider explained.

In the victory, Frankfort was led in double figures by Jake Clark with 16 points, followed by Jansen Moreland with 12 points.  In addition, Brock Robinette added six points, Bryceten Daubemire five points, Brady Whitacre four points, and Bryson Lane three points for the Falcons.

In the loss, Moorefield was led by Coleman Mongold with a game-high 18 points, and Ryan McGregor, also in double figures, with 11 points.  Dean Keplinger and Ronny Greist added three points apiece, and Jayden See and Blake Funk two points apiece.

In the junior varsity contest, Frankfort was victorious by a score of 56-28.  The junior Falcons started out fast and on a 7-0 run.  Moorefield would outscore Frankfort 11-8 the rest of the frame, but the Falcons led 15-11 at the conclusion of the first stanza.  The junior Falcons would then enjoy a 13-5 advantage in the second period to take a 28-16 lead at the end of the first half.

Frankfort dominated play in the third period as well, outscoring the visitors 20-5 to end the third period with a 27-point, 48-21 lead.   The junior Falcons would edge Moorefield 8-7 in the final frame to earn the 56-28 victory.  

The junior Falcons were led by Jacob Moreland with nine points, and Noah Raines, Peyton Slider, Luke Robinette and Tyson Spencer each tallied eight points apiece.  In addition, David Holsinger scored six points, David Jackson five points, and John Anderson four points in the victory.

In the loss, Moorefield was led in double figures by Ron Greist with 10 points and was followed closely by Peyton Eye with nine points.  In addition, James Williams tallied four points, Tyson Arnold three points, and Orlando Rico two points.

Frankfort (2-6) will next host Petersburg on Friday in junior varsity and varsity action, tipping off at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively.