Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

March 18, 2014

Traverse City area teams set for quarterfinals

FRANKFORT — It's a good thing Frankfort and Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart aren't having a popularity contest.

If they were, Frankfort would be in trouble.

Sacred Heart enters tonight's Class D boys basketball quarterfinal game at Cadillac High School after a whirlwind week where the Irish became a national internet and media sensation following Dustin Neyer's circus shot at the buzzer broke a 47-47 tie in last week's regional final game with Fulton. The play was aired as a top play on Sportscenter and on Fox Sports One and the You Tube video of the incredible finish went viral.

But now the Irish (20-3) have to put all that hoopla behind them and focus on Frankfort (19-6), which is seeking its first trip to the state semifinals since 1969.

Frankfort coach Reggie Manville doesn't think Sacred Heart will have any trouble regaining its focus.

"It probably would be (hard) if they had a one or two day break, but they've had a few days now to regroup," Manville said. "I'm sure they were flying high. I'm sure they're going to be ready."

Of utmost concern for the Panthers is the height advantage Sacred Heart will have in 6-foot-6 Brooks Hyble and 6-foot-4 Kevin Gamble Jr.

"We're concerned over the height," said Manville. "We've a very small team. David Loney is 6-foot-3. Mason (Loney) is 6-foot-1. That's about it. We've compensated for that by really doing a great job boxing out and doing a good job on the boards. We've only been beaten on the boards a few times. We've played some big teams."

The one thing Frankfort has going for it is experience. The Panthers are making their second consecutive trip to the quarterfinals, having lost to Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian 57-33 last season, but have all but one player back from that squad.

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