Panthers survive off-night, get past Patriots 68-49

By SUSAN RIDDELL State Journal Sports Writer Published:

It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.

And in tournament time, that's what counts.

The Frankfort High boys basketball team defeated Model 68-49 Tuesday night in the opening round of the boys All A 11th Region tournament at F.D. Wilkinson gym.

The Panthers, winners of the past five Class A regional tournaments, move on to Thursday's semifinals and will meet Berea at 6:30 p.m., followed by Lexington Christian versus Sayre.

The finals are set for Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center. All other games, however, will be at F.D. Wilkinson gym.

"We didn't come out tonight like we needed to," Frankfort coach Deron Norman said of his team. "We haven't for about two weeks. Right now, I'm not happy with the way we're playing, not being aggressive, and not getting things done like we need to do.

"But you go through peaks and valleys during the season, and something will get us back in the right direction, whether it's in practice or in games. I think some of the kids are going to have to find their roles again."

That's partly because the Panthers are playing without part-time starter Ryan Cash, a junior forward who broke an ankle in two places over the weekend.

Cash had surgery Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season.

"I feel really sorry for him because he has been working so hard," Norman said of Cash, who recently had his best game of the season, scoring 15 points against Franklin County.

Cash's absence was noticeable Tuesday as the Patriots outrebounded the Panthers.

"We needed our big man tonight," said junior Joe Hyatt. "Without him, we were smaller than Model and didn't rebound well."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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