Tom Weeks was the splash hire Frankfort made two years ago to lead its boys basketball program.
Weeks, a former state championship coach, was asked to help the Hot Dogs win in the postseason. In five seasons with the Hot Dogs, former coach Jason Good built a consistent winner but did not have the desired tournament success.
Frankfort has won sectional titles in each of Weeks’ first two seasons, each time getting to the championship game of the regional.
Though postseason success will determine how this year’s confident Hot Dog squad is defined, this week’s J&C Hoops Classic tournament is one they’ve never won.
“I think we are ready for the challenge to see if we can win this thing this year,” senior forward Christian Smith said.
Good’s best Hot Dog team reached the championship game in 2008, losing 81-62 to Lafayette Jeff.
Last year, a Frankfort team with an influx of returning talent and two transfers who were the leading scorers on their previous team gave the Hot Dogs hope of a first championship in the week-long tournament. McCutcheon foiled the plan, winning the championship game over Frankfort 64-52.
On Tuesday, perhaps the area’s top two teams meet in a rematch at 7:30 p.m. in an opening-round game.
“It’s definitely going to be a fun game because there is a little bit of revenge we hope to seek,” senior guard Brody Kirby said. “They are a great team.”
Both teams are pretty good, owning dominating victories over a county rival. For McCutcheon, it was an 86-51 victory at West Lafayette last Wednesday. For the Hot Dogs, a 78-44 victory over Clinton Prairie.
Weeks came to a program rich with basketball history — four state titles and so many sectional titles it takes multiple banners in Case Arena to showcase all the years. Until 2012, Frankfort had not won a sectional in the class basketball era. Now the Hot Dogs have won back-to-back titles and are ready to take the next step.
A J&C Hoops Classic tournament title would provide the early season success they hope can propel them to build off last year’s 21-5 season.
“If you get beat the year before in the championship game and you get matched up with them, especially the first game, you are going to have that feeling,” Smith said. “I think it would be a big confidence booster (if Frankfort wins). It’s good to obviously have success at the end of the season like we’ve had, but it’s good to have success at the beginning of the season, too.”