Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

March 21, 2014

Champs overpower Frankfort

EAST LANSING — One step at a time.

That’s why a 97-68 loss to Southfield Christian in Thursday’s Class D semifinal at the Breslin Center in East Lansing did not discourage Frankfort coach Reggie Manville.

“Each year we’ve taken a step forward from districts to regionals, now to the Final Four,” Manville, the Panthers third-year coach, said. “And I’ve still got 10 guys coming back. We want to take that next step. At the same time, we realize that next step is a big step. But I’ve got confidence in our program that we’ll be here next year.”

Southfield Christian, the two-time defending state champs, came as advertised — long, lean, active on defense and deadly from long range. The Eagles shot 59.5 percent from the field in the first half, buried 75 percent of their 3-pointers and forced 12 Frankfort turnovers en route to a commanding 57-25 halftime advantage.

Southfield Christian will try to win its third straight Class D crown Saturday.

“It was too bad it had to end like this, but we’re really happy to get here, coming from such a small public school where you have less than 30 kids — boys and girls — in one grade,” said Frankfort senior guard Brandon Schaub, who had 11 points. “To come down here to Breslin, it was just a great experience. We’ll always remember how we got here and the two years before that. We have made a little bit of history at Frankfort, turning it into a basketball town. It’s something we can be proud of.”

It was Frankfort’s longest postseason run in more than 40 years.

“Through their three years, they’ve each had three district championships, two regional championships and a Final Four,” Manville said. “So if you look at it as a whole, they’ve had as good of a career as anybody in the history of Frankfort. I’m really proud of these seniors.”

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