Class 2A: Frankton's pressure too much for Crawford County

Class 2A: Frankton's pressure too much for Crawford County

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Class 2A: Frankton's pressure too much for Crawford County

Frankton players show off their victory hardware after defeating Crawford County in the IHSAA boys' Class 2A state basketball final Saturday, March 25, 2017, in Indianapolis. (John P. Cleary/The Herald-Bulletin via AP)

Frankton players show off their victory hardware after defeating Crawford County in the IHSAA boys’ Class 2A state basketball final Saturday, March 25, 2017, in Indianapolis. (John P. Cleary/The Herald-Bulletin via AP)

INDIANAPOLIS – In its previous boys basketball state championship game in 2015, Frankton was on the wrong end of a 27-point loss to Park Tudor — at the time tied for the largest margin of victory in a Class 2A title game. But after Saturday, the Eagles are actually plus-1 in point differential in championship games.

The Eagles rolled past Crawford County 60-32 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, taking control in the first quarter and never letting the Wolfpack back into the game. Frankton’s defense, which came up with a 2A-record 19 steals and forced 25 turnovers, dictated the game.

Guard Landon Weins had five steals — all in the first half — to lead the defensive effort, while Maurice Knight and Patrick Spillman added four apiece.

“Obviously this ranks up there defensively for us,” Frankton coach Brent Brobston said. “Our kids knew what they had to do to win the game. The came out, competed and played hard, and did exactly what we had planned. In the state-championship game you expect your players to step up defensively. It’s a credit to our kids and how well they played defensively.”

Frankton (23-6) led 7-6 in the first quarter before its pressure began taking a heavy toll on the Wolfpack. The Eagles forced three straight turnovers during a 10-0 run, taking an 11-point lead that never dipped below nine the rest of the game.

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An 8-0 run to start the second quarter pushed the advantage to 26-9; by halftime, the Eagles were on top 32-14. Crawford County shot just 29.4 percent from the floor in the opening two quarters and had more than twice as many turnovers (13) as baskets (five).

Knight, who came into Saturday averaging 21.5 points per game, scored the first eight points of the third to extend the advantage to 40-14. He tacked on six points during an 8-0 run that closed the quarter and gave the Eagles a 50-20 lead heading into the fourth. The lead never dipped below 23 points in the fourth.

Knight finished with a game-high 23 points and tied for the team lead with four rebounds.

Tyrell Nickelson led the Wolfpack (22-7) with 14 points.

“We’ve not seen a press (and) we’ve not seen pressure like that, really, all year,” Wolfpack coach Levi Carmichael said. “We practiced it and practiced it and practiced it, but until you get here and experience it …

“It just got us back on our heels a little too much, and before we knew it, (the game) was already out of our tempo and out of our pace.”

Frankton’s Keegan Freestone was named the Trester Mental Attitude Award winner.

FRANKTON 60, CRAWFORD COUNTY 32

Frankton                 18   14  18  10  —  60

Crawford County     9     5     6   12  — 32

FRANKTON (23-6) — Landon Weins 1-3 4-5 6, Maurice Knight 9-17 3-3 23, Kayden Key 3-7 1-1 8, Travis McGuire 1-4 1-1 3, Rylan Detling 2-3 0-0 4, Brayton Cain 1-1 0-0 2, Keegan Freestone 2-4 1-3 5, Patrick Spillman 1-3 4-4 6, Cole Garner 0-0 3-4 3. Totals: 20-42 17-21 60.

CRAWFORD COUNTY (22-7) — Brent Smith 2-8 0-0 6, Adam Beasley 2-5 2-3 6, Tyrell Nickelson 4-7 4-4 14, Matt Dearborn 1-4 2-3 4, Josh Thomas 0-4 0-0 0, Christian Carlton 0-2 0-0 0, Wyatt Allinger 0-0 2-2 2, Gavin Coleman 0-1 0-0 0, Noah Sturgeon 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 9-33 10-12 32.

3-point goals: Frankton 3-12 (Knight 2, Key); Crawford County 4-15 (Smith 2, Nickelson 2).

Frankton knocked off Crawford County for the Class 2A boys basketball state title on Saturday.

Frankton knocked off Crawford County for the Class 2A boys basketball state title on Saturday.

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