Lady Flyers cruise past Frankfort

By Linda Younkin Published:

Frankfort High girls basketball coach Deron Norman was pleased with his team’s effort throughout Tuesday’s game with Franklin County.

FCHS coach Joey Thacker thought his team could have played harder in the first half.

When the Lady Flyers picked up their effort they went on to a 61-31 victory in the first round of the 41st District Tournament at the Frankfort Convention Center.

“I didn’t think we played hard in the first half,” Thacker said. “It’s hard to get motivated to beat someone three times.

“We didn’t have a sense of urgency. We were weak going to the basket, and (BriAnna) Burbridge blocked everything we took in there.”

That didn’t stop the Lady Flyers (23-6) from racing out to a 12-2 lead, but Burbridge and Jasmine Turpin scored four points each for FHS during an 8-2 run that cut the FCHS advantage to four points, 14-10.

A 3-pointer by Rebecca Cook and a putback by Lauren Willard gave Franklin County a 19-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

At halftime the Lady Flyers were up 28-18.

“I look at it as we’re playing one of the best teams in the state, a top five team,” Norman said. “I know the girls will give a great effort, and that kept us within 10 at halftime. If we’d made a couple more baskets here or there it could have been closer.

“I thought we did a good job of being patient. We wanted to control the tempo, and in the first half the girls did what we asked them to do. We didn’t hold the ball at all, but we made sure we didn’t give up anything easy.”

 Turpin went 1 for 2 from the line in the opening minute of the third quarter, pulling Frankfort within nine points at 28-19.

That was as close as the Lady Panthers (8-20) got the rest of the way.

FCHS outscored Frankfort 19-5 the rest of the third quarter to lead 47-24 going into the final period, and the Lady Flyers opened the fourth quarter with baskets by Malaka Frank and Willard.

“I thought our effort in the third quarter, especially on defense, was good,” Thacker said, “and Princess (Stewart) and Dasia (Kilbourne) were phenomenal.”

Frankfort’s last basket of the game came with 4:13 remaining when Cori Cunningham hit a 3-pointer to make the score 56-31.

The Lady Flyers ended the game with a 5-0 run.

FCHS’ Nannilena White led all players with 15 points.

“Nannilena was super,” Thacker said. “Fifteen points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals, that’s a pretty good line for her.” The Lady Flyers had 12 assists on their 25 field goals, led by White.

“Nannilena is one of the best point guards in the state,” Norman said. “You’re not going to contain her all the time.”

Also in double figures for FCHS were Anna Arrastia and Cook with 11 points each, and Cook had a team-high eight rebounds.

Turpin was Frankfort’s top scorer with 12 points, and she also had eight rebounds.

Burbridge had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and she finished the game with five blocked shots.

FHS has two seniors, Cunningham and Emily Hubbard.

“They don’t ever give up,” Norman said of his team. “They do exactly what we ask them to do until the bitter end. We’re going to have a big summer.

“Our young players got a lot of experience this year, and we have a good nucleus returning. We have four starters back and they are predominately juniors. Jayne (Yocum) will be our only senior. We should be very competitive next year.”

FCHS will face the winner of tonight’s Western Hills-Woodford County game Friday in championship game, and Tuesday’s victory assures the Lady Flyers of a spot in next week’s 11th Region Tournament to be played at the Frankfort Convention Center.

“We have to have 32 minutes of effort to beat someone who can take some things away from us,” Thacker said.

Game time Friday is 6:30 p.m.

FRANKFORT (31) — Cori Cunningham 5, Jayne Yocum 4, Jasmine Turpin 12, BriAnna Burbridge 10.

FRANKLIN CO. (61) — Nannilena White 15, Malaka Frank 6, Dasia Kilbourne 5, Princess Stewart 8, Anna Arrastia 11, Rebecca Cook 11, Kindall Talley 1, Lauren Willard 4.

To see more photos, click here.

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