Chaz Austin

Frankfort's Chaz Austin (14) drives to the basket against defensive pressure from Great Crossing's Tye Schureman, left, Tuesday at F.D. Wilkinson Gymnasium. (Linda Younkin)

A big lead gave way to some scary moments for Frankfort's boys basketball team Tuesday, but the Panthers held off Great Crossing for an 82-76 win at F.D. Wilkinson Gymnasium.

"It's what we talked about after the County game, about not playing smart," FHS coach Chris O'Bryan said, "Tonight we did."

Frankfort's Chaz Austin hit two 3-pointers at the buzzer in the first half, the first giving FHS a 20-18 lead at the end of the first quarter and the second good for a 45-33 lead at halftime.

The Panthers (14-14) kept it going in the third quarter, which ended with them leading 63-53.

Great Crossing (13-14) made a furious rally in the fourth quarter, getting within a point at 70-69 with 2:03 remaining in the game, but the Warhawks turned the ball over three times with under two minutes left.

A basket by Jackson Twombly and a three-point play from Austin put Frankfort up 75-69 with 51 seconds remaining, and the Panthers went 7-for-8 from the line in the final 36 seconds to seal the win.

"They started to do some different things," O'Bryan said of the Warhawks, "but we hit our free throws, which we didn't do the other night, and we didn't turn it over.

"We made a couple of mistakes that let them back in. When they cut it to five I called a timeout, and I had to call another timeout. I told them if they hit their free throws and layups we'll win this game.

"I couldn't be more proud of them."

The win gives FHS a 3-4 district record and ties the Panthers with Western Hills in the district. The two teams will flip a coin at the district meeting to determine the third and fourth seeds in the upcoming 41st District Tournament.

Tuesday's loss was the first district loss for Great Crossing.

Austin, who had 25 points in the first half, finished with 34. Also in double figures for the Panthers were Twombly with 15 points, Will O'Bryan with 13 and Jordan Blythe with 11 points.

KJ Tucker scored 21 points to lead Great Crossing.

Frankfort plays its next game at home Friday against Paris.

GREAT CROSSING (76) — KJ Tucker 21, Neil Baker 17, Tye Schureman 3, Tim Fuller 12, Kalib Perry 3, Jaylen Barber 18, Kasper Colbert 2.

FRANKFORT (82) — Charlie Ellis 6, Jordan Blythe 11, Chaz Austin 34, Will O'Bryan 13, Jackson Twombly 15, Nate O'Bryan 3.

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