BUCKLEY — Frankfort and Bellaire will meet for perhaps the first time in girls basketball Thursday with a regional championship at stake.
That’s what both coaches think.
Neither Frankfort 12th-year coach Tim Reznich nor fourth-year Bellaire mentor Brad Fischer can put a finger on if the two schools have ever played a game against each other.
The Panthers punched their ticket with a 55-34 win over Lake Leelanau St. Mary’s in a Class D regional semifinal Tuesday at Buckley, pitting the Northwest champions and Ski Valley runner-ups against each other.
“I don’t think we’ve ever played Bellaire,” Reznich said. “Not the girls. Last time we played somebody from that conference was when Jasmine Hines was there at Central Lake (in 2011).”
“I don’t know that we’ve ever played Frankfort in basketball,” Fischer said. “Not that I know of.”
This will be Frankfort’s fifth trip to the regional finals. The Panthers have won two of their previous four — and both times went on to capture the state championship.
On Tuesday, Frankfort jumped out to a 17-4 lead after one quarter before Lake Leelanau rallied a bit in the second to pull within seven on several occasions.
“That’s a tough team,” Reznich said of the Eagles. “And I think my girls thought once we got out to that lead, they might be able to coast. And as soon as we did, they took advantage of it and fought right back. It’s a well-coached team, and they’ve got some girls that are real competitors and they fought back. So we had to regroup at little at halftime, we communicated a lot better defensively in the second half. And offensively, we communicated better and were able to take advantage of some gaps in that zone.”