Coach Nick Barton liked the effort, the execution, the play he saw from his Frankfort High boys basketball team.
The one thing missing from Friday night’s game was a victory.
Madison Southern’s Stacy Burns scored on a layup with five seconds left to give the Eagles a 72-70 win over FHS at F.D. Wilkinson Sports Arena.
“We executed our game plan beautifully,” Barton said. “I thought we played for four quarters tonight for the first time all year.
“We played hard for four quarters. I’m pleased with the effort they gave tonight all four quarters at both ends.”
It was Frankfort (5-23) that took control early, jumping out to a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers extended their lead to 13 points, 29-16, with 6:42 left in the second period.
Madison Southern (12-15) closed the gap to six points, 41-35, at halftime, and by the end of the third quarter the Eagles trailed by three at 58-55.
A putback by Jalen Washington put the Panthers up 63-57 with 5:50 remaining in the game, but the Eagles went on a 7-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Burns that gave MSHS a 64-63 lead.
The teams traded points after that, with a total of six lead changes in the final four minutes.
Frankfort took a 69-68 lead on a layup by DeShawn Newton with 2:08 left in the game.
FHS got the ball back with the score still 69-68 and was able to run some time off the clock before Washington was fouled with 1:05 remaining.
Washington went 1 for 2 from the line, making the score 70-68, but Tanner Kidwell tied it on a layup with 42 seconds on the clock.
With the game tied, Frankfort was going for the last shot when the ball bounced off the foot of an FHS player and was scooped up by Madison Southern, who took the lead on Burns’ layup with five seconds left.
FHS immediately called timeout, and on the inbounds play the Panthers were able to get the ball to Washington, who took the ball nearly the length of the floor and shot a 3-pointer at the buzzer that bounced off the front of the rim.
“We drew up that play so he could get a look,” Barton said of Washington’s 3. “I knew it would be difficult for him to get all the way there in three seconds, but he got a good look.”
Washington led Frankfort with 27 points, followed by Travis Skelton with 17 points and Anthony Robinson with 15.
“I’m proud of them,” Barton said. “I thought our defense was better tonight. We still gave up points in the 70s, but I felt like we did some good things defensively that we hadn’t done the last couple of games.”
Burns scored a game-high 33 points for Madison Southern, and the Eagles had one more player in double figures as Trevor Huff scored 12.
Friday was Senior Night for Frankfort High, which has just one senior — Tre Winkfield — on this year’s team. Winkfield was honored in a ceremony before the game.
“As much as this hurts,” Barton said, “we can take a lot of positives out of this game. We wanted that one for Tre.”
The Panthers play their next game Wednesday in the 41st District Tournament when they face Woodford County at 8:15 p.m. at the Frankfort Convention Center.
MADISON SOUTHERN (72) — Michael Jefferson 4, Devante Linville 3, Trevor Huff 12, Tanner Kidwell 9, Antonio Thrash 2, Stacy Burns 33, Andrew Miller 4, Griffin Gabbard 5.
FRANKFORT (70) — Jeff Quire 7, Anthony Robinson 15, Travis Skelton 17, Jalen Washington 27, Tre Winkfield 4.