The night Frankfort’s season ended last year, the Wildcats’ Jonathan Keating and Jacob Broxterman approached head coach Brian Ebert after the game.
“Those two came to me right after the season was over — the same night we lost — and they both told me this year would be different,” Ebert said.
Those two know how to keep a promise, as Frankfort defeated Otis-Bison 62-53 in double-overtime Saturday night in Hays to win the 1A-DII state championship, marking the program’s second state title in school history.
“My hat is off to Jacob and Jonathan,” Ebert said. “There’s no better way to make it different than a state championship.”
And the pair played a key role in making sure it was different.
Broxterman scored 21 points and collected 10 rebounds in the championship, while Keating added 12 points and 12 boards. In the three games at state, Broxterman averaged 20.7 points, made 24 of his 45 shots, and averaged eight rebounds per game. Keating averaged 14.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and made 18-of-24 from the field in the three games at state.
The Wildcats, who defeated No. 6 seed Colony-Crest and second-seeded Fowler to get to the championship, claimed their first state title since 1973, in dramatic fashion. Leading by three in the final seconds of regulation, Otis-Bison’s Trevor Keller buried an off-balance 3 with 3 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
The Wildcats, who were in a similar situation in 2004 in the state title game, this time didn’t let the game-tying 3 deflate them.
“In 2004 we were out here, the same thing happened to us,” Ebert said. “A kid hit a 3 when they needed a 3 to put it in overtime and we lost that year because we didn’t score in the overtime. They outscored us 6-0.
“So tonight I asked the kids, ‘do you want to foul or do you want to play it out?’ I left it up to them. They play the game, they have the feeling of how things are going out there. They said let’s play it out so we did. I trust what they want to do. In the long run it worked out for us. Probably next time if we’re up by three and there’s 10 seconds to go we’re probably going to foul and put them on the line.”
The first overtime went back and forth, but in the second one, Frankfort dominated, outscoring Otis-Bison 14-5.
“Second overtime was really intense because we lost Jacob for the last three minutes after fouling out,” Ebert said. “Our kids were able to spread the floor a little bit on offense, and take care of the ball and we stepped up and hit some big free throws and pretty much put the game away from the foul line.”
Lucas Adams scored 12 points in Saturday’s championship while Calahan Brown chipped in with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Frankfort made 21-of-46 from the floor as a team while the Cougars connected on 22-of-47 from the field.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of these kids,” Ebert said.