Frankfort and Lebanon will battle for the 162nd time in the championship of the Class 3A Frankfort Sectional after both teams came away with easy wins in the semifinals Friday night.
Frankfort took care of Southmont in the second game 83-67, while Lebanon opened play with a 67-28 win over North Putnam.
The host Hot Dogs shot a blistering 67 percent against the Mounties, who had played Frankfort to within five points two weeks ago.
What was the difference? Frankfort’s Dakota Isgrigg.
The 6-foot-7 center poured in 27 points, including a 14-point third quarter to help the Hot Dogs blow it open.
“The first time we played them, I got into early foul trouble and didn’t get to play a lot,” said Isgrigg, who was 12 of 16 from the floor. “We wanted to get the ball inside, and we were able to tonight. Everyone played pretty well, and my teammates just kept feeding it to me, so I got a lot of easy looks.”
Southmont coach Jon Sparks agreed.
“He’s a great player,” he said. “He was last year and he is even better this year. We needed a few calls early, and when we didn’t get them we just don’t have the manpower to take it on the chin by someone like that.”
Frankfort coach Tom Weeks said the difference in the two games was the Hot Dogs’ ability to get the ball inside.
“The last time we chucked up a lot of threes,” he said. “And we did in the second quarter. That allowed them to get back in the game and they had that one run in the second quarter because of that. In the second half, we didn’t shot a single three, and that was by design.”
Frankfort raced out to a 21-8 lead, but in the second quarter Southmont managed to cut the lead to 30-24 before Frankfort scored eight of the last 12 points of the half to lead 38-28.
By scoring on 14 of 17 possessions in the third quarter, the Hot Dogs put the game out of reach and led 65-44 heading into the final eight minutes.
“It’s pretty easy to shoot well when you are shooting layups,” Weeks said. “I am very proud of the way our guys responded tonight. We executed and didn’t back down when they made that one run at us.”
While Frankfort shot the light out of Case Arena, Southmont didn’t.
Known for its 3-point shooting throughout the season, Southmont managed to hit just 6 of 26 from long range.
“That’s a very good team we played tonight,” Sparks said. “They had six players who were varsity starters last year. We knew it was going to be a tough task. We needed them to shoot threes and miss, and we needed to shoot threes and make them. Neither happened, and we came out on the short end of the stick.”
Isgrigg got help from Christian Smith, who had 21 points. Brody Kirby added 12 and Nathaniel Wissman added 10 as four of the five Frankfort starters reached double figures.
Southmont was led by Devon Burton’s 23 points and Drake Cooksey tossed in 20. Cody Thomas ended his career with 13 points.
It will be just the second time Frankfort and Lebanon have played for a sectional title. The last time was in 1920, and Lebanon won 22-18.