District seedings are still on the line, but Franklin County’s boys basketball team knows how it will start the postseason.
The Flyers defeated Frankfort 55-50 Friday at FCHS, wrapping up the second seed in the 41st District Tournament. Frankfort, if it beats Great Crossing Tuesday, would tie for the third seed with Western Hills.
“We talked that this was the kind of game in December that wouldn’t have gone our way,” FCHS coach Tony Wise said. “Frankfort is playing with a lot of confidence, and they’re hard to guard.”
FCHS led 9-7 after the first quarter and 18-16 at halftime.
The Panthers were close despite playing much of the first half without post player Jackson Twombly, who got in early foul trouble.
“I felt pretty good at halftime,” Wise said. “We got the ball where we wanted, but we couldn’t hit a layup, we couldn’t hit foul shots.”
The Flyers kept the lead in the third quarter, and when Zac Cox hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, FCHS led 34-29 going into the fourth quarter.
“I felt like Chaz (Austin) played with a lot of heart and a lot of energy in the first half,” FHS coach Chris O’Bryan said, “but I didn’t feel like the rest of the team matched that in the first half.
“We talked at halftime about playing with the same heart and energy. I felt like we did play with more heart, but we didn’t play as smart as we have lately.
“We’d make a move, get frustrated and make a foul, and you can’t do that.”
The Flyers went up by 10 points, 42-32, with 6:14 left in the game, but FHS battled to get within a point, 46-45, with 2:09 remaining.
That was as close as the Panthers got in the final two minutes.
Joe Meador had several blocked shots during the game, and with 19 seconds left, FCHS’ Phillip Peiffer missed the second of two free throws, but teammate Jayden Mattison got the rebound and the assist as Peiffer scored on a layup to make the score 54-47 with 26 seconds left.
“Joe and I talked about that,” Wise said. “He kind of floated there in first half. I told him he needed to be more active, and he turned it up in the second half.
“Derrick King is really running things like a senior point guard, and Jayden’s rebound and pass, those are the little things that may not show up in the statistics, but those are the little things you have to do.”
A free throw from Cameron Phelps put the Flyers up 55-47, and Austin hit a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to make the final score 55-50.
“We got beat on the glass,” O’Bryan said. “Offensive rebounding down the stretch is what did us in.
“We played hard and we played with energy. Our kids didn’t quit, but we have to play smart, and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Frankfort (13-14) plays its next game at home Tuesday against Great Crossing, and FCHS (14-10) travels to Scott County Tuesday for its next game.
FRANKFORT (50) — Charlie Ellis 4, Reed Miklavcic 2, Jordan Blythe 5, Chaz Austin 18, Will O’Bryan 10, Jackson Twombly 9, Nate O’Bryan 2.
FRANKLIN CO. (55) — Derrick King 12, Cameron Phelps 7, Phillip Peiffer 15, Zac Cox 12, Jayden Mattison 2, Joe Meador 5, Jake Thomas 2.