Berkeley Springs 60-41 winners over Frankfort
BERKELEY SPRINGS - After a run of four straight wins, Frankfort lost a pair of games to their biggest rivals and neighbors, Keyser and Hampshire. The loss to the Golden Tornado was by only one point, 48-47, at Hampshire, however, the Falcons fell by 19 points, 60-41. On Wednesday, the Falcons would travel to what is perhaps traditionally their third biggest rival, Berkeley Springs.
All three of the aforementioned teams (Keyser, Hampshire, Berkeley Springs), while remaining rivals on the hardcourt, are now in the AAA classification for basketball, where Frankfort remains in class AA. Traditionally, these late-season matchups against the Golden Tornado, Trojans and Indians would have been a precursor for Frankfort for how the sectional playoffs might go, but not this year.
By the time the final buzzer sounded at Berkeley Springs, what started as a tie game at the conclusion of the first period and still a close, four-point contest at halftime, would end as a 17-point, 62-45 victory for Berkeley Springs.
“In the second half, we didn’t look like we executed as well offensively. We had a few good possessions, but them getting up and down the floor, even in the first half, that’s why they had the four-point lead at halftime, was because they would just beat us up and down the floor. Our press worked at times, but when we wouldn’t get back, they were getting easy layups,” Frankfort coach Scott Slider stated.
According to Slider, “We need to get back quicker and defend them in a half court set rather than running up and down the floor. So, that hurt us and it hurt us again in the second half. We changed defenses, to try and counteract that a little bit. We wanted to try and put the ball inside a little bit, try to lean on them a little more, but it just didn’t work out for us.”
It was a very tight, close and competitive first period. So close, in fact, that Frankfort and Berkeley Springs concluded the opening frame all tied up at 11-11. Jake Clark led Frankfort in the period with 7 points. Gavin Barkley led the Indians in the opening frame with six points coming off two three-pointers.
In the second period, Berkeley Springs would start with a nine to two run to take a 20-13 lead at the 5:24 mark. By the 2:40 mark, Frankfort had cut into the lead by a bucket, closing the gap to 20-18. The first half would end with Berkeley Springs in the lead by four points, 24-20. Trenton Kyne led the Indians in the second frame with five points. Brady Whitacre led Frankfort in the second stanza, also with five points.
After the break, Berkeley would take control of the game’s third period. The Indians almost doubled Frankfort up, outscoring the Falcons 15-8 to take an 11-point, 39-28 lead at the end of the third period. Gavin Barkley had a big third period for Berkeley Springs with 10 points.
In the fourth period, the two squads would combine for a total of 30 points. Berkeley Springs again gained the advantage, winning the final three periods. In the final stanza, it would be a six-point, 23-17 advantage for the Indians, ultimately culminating in a final score of 62-45 in favor of Berkeley Springs. Jordan Miller led Berkeley Springs in the final eight minutes, scoring seven points, all from the free throw line. Luke Robinette led Frankfort with eight points in the final period.
“Even though our backs were down, I still thought our kids hustled, tried to run up and down the floor, tried to do things, but we just weren’t successful with it,” Slider stated.
In the victory, Berkeley Springs would be led in double figures by Gavin Barkley with a game-high 24 points, followed by Trenton Kyne with 15 points. Ty’Mir Ross and Jordan Miller each added seven points, and Preston McCoy and Carson Stotler three points apiece. Finally, Shawn Lord added two points and Trevor Osborn one point.
In the loss, Frankfort was led in double figures by Luke Robinette and Jake Clark with 12 points apiece, and Brady Whitacre with 10 points. Additionally, Bryceten Daubenmire added six points, Jansen Moreland two points, and Colton McTaggart and Brock Robinette one point apiece.
Frankfort (4-9) concluded regular season play with the trip to Berkeley Springs. The Falcons, the top seed in class AA’s Region 2, Section 1, advances to the sectional final, held next Friday, April 23, at 7 p.m. against the winner of Tuesday’s Moorefield at Petersburg contest. The sectional final will be played at a neutral site, with the location being at the location of the loser of the Moorefield/Petersburg contest.
“We have a week and two days to get ready. Tomorrow we will have off, because some of them are going to baseball, some are going to tennis. The rest of them will get to rest. We’ll practice on Friday and Saturday. Then on Monday, we’ll have our juniors back that are on quarantine. So, then we’ll have practice Monday through Thursday. We’ll find out Tuesday who won, and who we need to prepare for,” Slider explained.