Lady Falcons: 'A tactical change at halftime'

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort's Larae Grove scored 17 points in the Lady Falcons' win over Mountain Ridge.

FROSTBURG - Playing on the road at Mountain Ridge Tuesday, Frankfort found themselves trailing the home team 13-12 at the end of one quarter of play. By halftime, the Lady Falcons turned the tables and gained a 20-19 advantage. Then it happened, an after-intermission explosion that saw Frankfort outscore the Lady Miners 45-14 to earn a dominating, impressive, 65-33 victory.

What happened in that locker room at halftime?

“We really got into them about rebounding,” Frankfort coach Steve Willison stated.

In addition to a spirited yet motivational talking to, there were some tactical changes made as well.

“In the second half, the press worked a lot better. Also, we got into a 3-2 zone that really shut down their shooters and just shut them down in general in the second half,” Willison explained.

That second half success followed a much, much closer first half.

According to Willison, “It was our first local game on the road, and playing on their court, they came out pretty hot. We had some turnovers, actually we had a lot of turnovers, we were struggling with that tonight. In the first half, that kind of hurt us, and, we weren’t rebounding well. Just a lot of mistakes. We were a whole different team in the second half.”

Frankfort was led in scoring for the third game in a row by senior Halley Smith with a game-high 28 points. Smith also grabbed five rebounds, dished out six assists, had six steals and one blocked shot. Larae Grove was next in scoring with 17 points and also grabbed three rebounds, dished out five assists and had five steals.

The inside presence of Arin Lease and Grace Scott were successful on the night, scoring eight points each. Lease added three rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocked shots. Scott also grabbed three rebounds, had one assist, one steal, and one blocked shot.

Lynsey Zimmerman and Mackenzie Long each scored two points apiece for the Falcons. Zimmerman pulled down three rebounds and added two assists. Long also contributed five rebounds and one blocked shot. Veronica VanMeter didn’t score, but added three rebounds, one assist and two steals.

Frankfort also won the junior varsity contest over Mountain Ridge 37-32.

The Steve Willison era at Frankfort has kicked off with three straight wins, all impressive. Factor in that the Falcons have played two and a half of those games without the services of Marie Perdew, Frankfort’s leading scorer and last year’s Area Player of the Year, and it’s doubly impressive.

Despite the early success, Willison is honest about the fact that the partnership between he and the Lady Falcons is still in the infancy stage. Brought in just before the season, there’s still a bit of a feeling out process going on. Winning while still working the bugs out is a good sign that the partnership is likely to bear fruit.

“They had a good coach last year, they won a lot of games, it’s just that I am a different coach. They are adjusting to me as much as I am adjusting and adapting to them. They have to believe in what I’m doing, and I have to believe in them also. But, I think it’s coming around,” Willison explained.

Frankfort (3-0) will next travel to Northern on Thursday for junior varsity and varsity action beginning at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively. The Falcons then host Wheeling Central Catholic on Saturday, Dec. 18. Junior varsity action will begin at 12 p.m., with varsity to follow at 1:30 p.m.