The Frankfort High boys basketball team trailed Collins High School by only five points with a little more than a minute left in the game, but the Titans held off Frankfort’s rally with enough free throws for a 48-45 win Tuesday night at F.D. Wilkinson Sports Arena.
“I know I sound like a broken record, but we executed very well tonight,” FHS coach Nick Barton said. “We followed our game plan extremely well, just like I wanted the kids to do. Even though we didn’t win, there were a lot of positives tonight.”
The Panthers, who got six 3-pointers and 31 points from junior point guard Jalen Washington, dropped to 5-18 on the season while Collins improved to 20-3.
FHS led 16-12 after one quarter, but the game was tied at 24 at the half. The Titans led 32-31 going into the last period.
A driving basket by Frankfort’s Matthew Smith made the score 42-39 with 1:14 remaining in the game. Collins’ Brent Kidwell and Ralphael Stone each went one-of-two at the foul line before Washington nailed a 3-pointer with 21 seconds to go to cut the deficit to two at 44-42.
Stone scored on a fast break basket on the ensuing series, but Washington swished a fall-away 3 to make it 46-45 with seven seconds left.
Stone was immediately fouled, and he hit both free throws to push the Titans back up by three. Washington drove down court and appeared to get knocked down while shooting an off-balanced 3 at the buzzer. The shot was off the mark, and no foul was called on the play, ending the game.
“Of course, I thought he was fouled,” Barton said of the play, “but I can’t blame that one play for anything. Collins is a good team, and we were trying to play the way we’re capable of playing.
“Even with Jalen scoring most of the points, there was a team effort tonight,” Barton added. “The bench did a nice job out there, and even the kids who didn’t play have been working hard in practice and helping us to get better.”
Washington’s 31 points tied a career high for him. He scored 31 points versus East Jessamine his sophomore year.
“Jalen has come in with a different attitude these last few weeks,” Barton said. “He has learned how to lead this team and take responsibility for his mistakes. That’s not just him. That’s been everybody lately, too. I’m really proud of how much all the kids are continuing to improve.”
Collins was led by Stone and senior reserve Caleb Vogel, who scored 13 points each.
Frankfort has several road games coming up. The Panthers are at Shelby County tonight, play Somerset at Pulaski County Saturday and are at Berea Feb. 18.
FRANKFORT (45) – Jalen Washington 31, Jeffrey Quire 3, DeShawn Newton 5, Travis Skelton 3, Matthew Smith 2, Anthony Robinson 1.
COLLINS (48) – Brent Kidwell 6, Lawson Page 3, Ralphael Stone 13, Jayon Winstead 4, Caleb Vogel 13, Brandon Grasmik 2, Deion Cochran 2, Paul Miller 5.