When Western Hills’ Kiana Mitchell scored with 7:22 left in Friday’s game, the Lady Wolverine basketball team led 41-27.
When Frankfort’s Jamya Chenault hit two free throws with 2:29 remaining, the Lady Panthers took a 42-41 lead and didn’t trail again, going on to a 55-43 win at WHHS’ Lapsley Cardwell Gymnasium.
“Tianna (Mitchell) is a good free throw shooter, and we want the ball in her hands at the end,” FHS coach Deron Norman said. “She made a lot of them.”
Mitchell made 11 free throws in the fourth quarter. FHS, after scoring 27 points in the first three quarters, scored 28 in the fourth.
“I thought for the first three quarters we executed our game plan to a T,” WHHS coach Brandon Muravchick said. “We tried to get the girls to learn how to play with the lead. This is the second time this season we have blown a 10-point lead to start the fourth quarter.”
WHHS led 18-6 after the first quarter and 28-17 at halftime.
Frankfort cut the Lady Wolverines’ lead to four points in the third quarter but trailed 39-27 when it ended.
Mitchell’s shot that gave Western Hills its 41-27 lead was the only field goal for WHHS in the fourth quarter.
“We get really excited and our shot selection goes straight down the drain,” Muravchick said. “Foul trouble knocked us out mentally down the stretch, and going 2 for 10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter absolutely killed us.”
After Chenault’s free throws gave FHS a 42-41 lead, Western Hills tied the game on a foul shot by Mitchell.
Frankfort responded with eight straight points for a 50-43 lead with less than 10 seconds to play.
“We didn’t start out well, and that’s kind of been our thing,” Norman said. “But I knew we could come back. We can play defense. We’re very athletic, and we can get up on people. I think eventually our pressure overtook them. I just wish we didn’t wait until the fourth quarter to do that.
“We played our hardest when it mattered most. The fourth quarter was a totally different game.”
Mitchell scored 23 points to lead FHS, and Madison Close scored 16. Maddie LeCompte had 21 points to lead Western Hills.
Frankfort’s next game is its home opener Monday, when the Lady Panthers (4-1) host Danville Christian.
WHHS (1-3) is at home today against Washington County with tipoff at 2 p.m.
“We have to learn from our mistakes and prepare for the next game,” Muravchick said. “We have to let this one go. We will see them again.”
FRANKFORT (55) — Madison Close 16, Rhealee Ellis 5, Gracie Edelen 5, Brianna Walker 1, Tianna Mitchell 23, Jamya Chenault 5.
WESTERN HILLS (43) — Leann Way 6, Kiana Mitchell 3, Lauren McGaughey 1, Maddie LeCompte 21, Audrey Butler 8, Kellen Kilgore 3, Kinsley Redmon 1.