FRANKFORT — A solid start, a late third quarter run and a game-high 16 points from Frankfort guard Lucas Adams weren’t enough to overcome two scoring droughts of more than 5 minutes as the Wildcats’ upset bid against the Baileyville B&B Falcons fell short, 36-29.
“Our kids competed better than we had the first three games,” Frankfort head coach Brian Ebert said. “I felt like tonight we competed pretty hard. This was a team that was undefeated and we haven’t won one, so obviously we were amped up to try to get our first one.”
Adams drained a 3-pointer from the right wing two minutes in to give Frankfort (0-4) a 3-2 lead. The Wildcats’ 2-3 zone stifled B&B (4-0) throughout the opening period, and when junior forward Jacob Studer hit a driving layup in traffic, the Wildcats took a 9-6 lead into the second quarter.
But that’s when Frankfort’s offensive woes began. With B&B constantly eying Adams, Frankfort struggled to find balance and scored just 11 points over the next two quarters.
A free throw by senior forward Brett Kenworthy gave the Wildcats a 12-9 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the half, but they wouldn’t score again until guard Alex Roeder hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go. By that time B&B had dissected the zone and had reeled off a methodical seven-point run to help take an 18-15 lead into halftime.
Afterward, the woes would continue. While the Falcons continued to carve up the zone with nine straight points to open the third quarter, Frankfort stayed cold. The Wildcats wouldn’t score until Kenworthy hit an inside bucket with 3:00 left in the period.
The Kenworthy bucket ignited a brief flurry of offense for the Wildcats, who after a transition layup by Adams and a Kenworthy free throw cut the Falcon lead to 27-20, gained possession with a chance to cut it to four. A pass out of bounds turned it over, though, and they remained down seven heading into the fourth.
“They went on their run, and kind of took the wind out of our sails that quarter,” Ebert said. “We’re honestly not equipped to make big comebacks, so we gotta cut that down to maybe a 4-0 run.”
Forced to stay in the zone most of the game due to foul problems, Ebert went man-to-man to start the final period. The move was unsuccessful as two straight buckets by B&B, including two of senior guard Blake Rottinghaus’ team-high 10-points on a layup, made it 31-20 Falcons early on.
The Wildcats would get as close as six on a shot from junior guard Alex Roeder with 1:31 left, but the Falcons held off and escaped with the win.
“Like I told our kids early on, this is what I wanted to see in the first game not the fourth, but we’re coming around,” Ebert said.