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Frankfort girls rout Blue Valley

By Greg Woods

Tucked along the visitors’ sideline Friday night in Frankfort, Blue Valley Randolph girls basketball coach Matt Schreiber extolled his team, “You can’t be afraid to shoot.”

He shouted the words just as his guard, Kayla Pfizenmaier, drilled a 3.

The problem for his visiting Rams, though, was that Pfizenmaier’s triple was a rare bright spot from distance — the Rams hoisted many askew 3-pointers on the night thanks in large part to Frankfort’s Emilee Ebert. Her combination of defense and offense — a 20-point effort — made for a matchup nightmare for Blue Valley, as Frankfort routed the Rams, 61-30.

The blowout was on from the outset, as Ebert collected five points, and her Frankfort team outscored Blue Valley 20-8 in the first period.

She added six more in the second, and the Wildcats took a 32-16 lead into the intermission.

Frankfort head coach Brian Ebert — Emilee’s father — said his 6-foot forward’s versatility made the difference Friday night.

“She’s very versatile,” Brian Ebert said. “She can play inside, she can play outside. We depend on her a lot to bring the ball up. Defensively, we definitely want her in there for rebounds.”

Her best quarter came in the third, when she amassed seven points. Frankfort guard Jessa Youssi connected on a pair of 3s in the frame as well, and freshman Kennen Brandt added five points. The Wildcats led, 50-26, heading into the final frame, a running-clock quarter.

As for Youssi, who totaled three 3-pointers Friday, Brian Ebert said she did exactly what she excels at — the long ball.

“She’s probably one of our best shooters, if not our best shooter from the outside,” Brian Ebert said. “When she catches and shoots in rhythm, she’s very effective. Tonight’s one of those nights that it looked really good. As long as she can shoot with confidence and shoot in rhythm, she’s what we need from the outside.”

Shooting served as Blue Valley’s downfall. Frankfort’s zone defense encouraged the Rams to take aim from beyond the arc, and Blue Valley wasted no time doing so.

The Rams did hit six 3-pointers, but Schreiber said he wished his team would have stopped shooting when they weren’t falling.

“We just didn’t shoot the ball very well from the get-go,” Schreiber said. “We got two or three good looks right off the bat like we wanted, and it just didn’t fall for us. It’s just a struggle.

“We actually shot the ball very well from the outside the first four games of the season, and now the last two, we’ve struggled to hit from behind the arc.”

When the Rams’ misses from deep clanged off the rim, Emilee Ebert was there to pull down rebounds, and at times bring the ball all the way up the floor and into the paint on the other end. She knocked down five of her six free throws when she didn’t get the shot she wanted around the basket.

“She’s played a lot of basketball at 6-foot, and with her quickness, it’s a tough matchup,” Schreiber said. “We wanted to try to come out and play man on her, and we found out quickly — nothing against our girls — we’re just not that quick to keep up with her.”

Megan Plummer and Brooklynn Zoeller each posted eight points for Blue Valley, which returns to action Tuesday at Linn, while Frankfort hosts Doniphan West on Tuesday.

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