Winning runs in the family
Published 10:44 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Friday morning, less than 12 hours before Frankfort Highs girls basketball team played the programs biggest game in 10 years, Tasha Hunter had a simple question for her two youngest daughters, Shauntae and Shanae Brown.
I wanted to know what was on their minds, Hunter said. Tae said, A championship. I asked Nae the same thing, and she said, Im right with her.
This years 41st District Tournament was the first time since 2003 the Lady Panthers had reached the championship game, and Friday night, FHS won its first girls district title since 1990.
Frankfort High will face Dunbar in the 11th Region Tournament 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at Eastern Kentucky Universitys McBrayer Arena.
Hunter knows just how special a district championship is. She was a member of the 1990 FHS team.
They wanted to win so they could be one up on Mama, Hunter said. Nae woke up one morning asking me about this. She was so excited. Its all we talked about all week.
The topic of conversation doesnt change much in their household. Older sisters Shanice and Sheree, both Frankfort High graduates, played for the Lady Panthers, and Shanice is an assistant coach with this years team.
Shanae and Shauntae have both scored more than 1,000 points in their high school careers, and Shauntae is the second-leading career scorer in girls basketball at the school. They are two of five senior starters for FHS, along with Jasmine Washington, Kiana Russell and Cailyn Jouett.
We roll out of bed in the morning talking about basketball, Hunter said. Im so excited for them. Some people were talking about it, and a friend said they play like you did, and someone else said they play like their dad did.
I said, No, they play like me. As short as I am, I was a post person on defense.
That may be one of the few bits of information Hunters daughters know about her high school career.
If we ask she tells us, Shanae said, but she doesnt bring it up.
Its one of those things where you tell her, You cant play basketball, you cant do nothing, Shanice said, and she says, You better ask first because we did this and we did that. If you bring it up she brags about it.
But in any bragging shes done, Hunter never mentioned shed been on a district championship team. Her daughters found out by following The State Journal on Twitter.
When I asked her about it, thats when she told me, Shanae said.
I was surprised, Shauntae said about her mothers district title. It kind of motivated me and my twin sister to try and be just like her and get our own district title our senior year.
With the Lady Panthers winning the All A 11th Region Tournament in January, the Browns consider themselves to have one more title than their mother.
The sport is being passed down to the third generation Hunters grandsons Kaycen Weaver and Rajon Floyd, both just 2, play in a hall at home with a basket on a closet door at one end and a childrens basketball goal at the other end.
The only thing we have a true conversation about is basketball, Shanae said.
And in the talks about the regional tournament, Hunter had some advice for her daughters.
She just said, Dont get down, keep up the hard work and play as a team, Shanae said.
The Lady Panthers are facing a Dunbar team coming off a four-point loss to Lafayette in the finals of the 43rd District Tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs (16-11) played part of the season without senior guard Jordin Fender, who tore an ACL during the summer. She rejoined the team in January.
Dunbar has size, with 6-3 junior Brooke Todd and 5-11 Lakeena Parks, and the Lady Bulldogs have a Division I signee in point guard Kierra Muhammad, who has signed with Western Kentucky.
This is the team that went to the state tournament out of this region last year, FHS coach Deron Norman said. Theyre back at full strength.
Theyve got some good players, and theyre very athletic. I think you have two teams that are going to get out after one another.
If we can get them in a running game, up and down the court, itll take away some of that height advantage, and thats basically what were trying to do.
The Lady Panthers are taking things in stride as they prepare for Dunbar.
I think were pretty confident, Washington said. If we play hard like weve been playing, we should do really good.
All the people at school are telling us we did good and were making history for the school, Russell said. Theyve been congratulating us. It just feels real good.
Especially to those seniors who, in middle school, were part of a varsity team that won three games over two seasons.
Theyve come a long way, Hunter said. Determination, hard work and togetherness pay off.
TUESDAY Franklin County High School boys vs. Madison Central, 8:15 p.m.
WEDNESDAY Frankfort High School girls vs. Dunbar, 8:15 p.m.
THURSDAY Franklin County High School girls vs. Bryan Station, 8:15 p.m.