Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Tuesday

March 12, 2013

James Cook: Freshman comes off bench to lead way

Frankfort came into Monday’s regional semifinal with one more loss than Baldwin.

They left with one more win.

Frankfort received a giant boost in a stunning 69-65 overtime victory from one of its most diminutive players — freshman Kole Hollenbeck.

“He was killing us,” said Baldwin coach Scott Pedigo, whose team ended the season 18-5. “He threw up some shots. They weren’t really orthodox shots, but they fell in for him. He even threw a little hook up and it went in. He was a guy we weren’t expecting to score many points. Sometimes that’s what you need to win games like this, is other people to chip in.”

With Brandon Schaub suffering from the flu, the 5-8 guard came off the bench and played more minutes than normal late. He responded with a career-high 10 points, hitting two buckets late in regulation to get Frankfort (19-5) within two and then scoring six of his team’s 10 points in overtime — including a floater one minute into OT that gave Frankfort its very first lead of the game.

“Kole stepped up tonight,” said Frankfort forward David Loney, whose bucket off a Mason Loney assist with 18 ticks left sent the contest into OT. “We were waiting for him to play like this all year because we know he can. He’s been a little shy. He showed tonight he could play with the big boys.”

The freshman has been the team’s sixth man much of the season, but hasn’t been put in much of a role where he’s counted on to score.

He wasn’t even sure what prior to Monday was his best game.

“Four or five points?” Hollenbeck tried to recall.

Six, actually.

He scored that many in overtime alone of one the biggest game of the season so far.

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