Frankfort ends Lady Indians season
The Berkeley Springs girls basketball team was hoping for a little magic, the type they experienced two years earlier when they upset Frankfort to win the Region 2, Section 2 championship, despite being thoroughly dominated by the Lady Falcons during the regular season. A similar stage was set when the two met for the sectional title on Thursday, February 22 at Hampshire County High School.
Of course Frankfort was aware of the history and intent on not letting their guard down, not going into the game overconfident. They were concerned, but prepared and it showed as they ended the Indians' season with a 60-44 win to claim the Section 2 title.
Berkeley Springs came into the game with two lopsided losses to their Mineral County opponent, but confident they could bring home the championship trophy. But, a slow start, something which has plagued Berkeley Springs the entire year, put the Indians in a quick hole. And, though they showed a lot of courage by cutting the Frankfort lead on several occasions, the early deficit proved too much to overcome.
"I really felt that if we played to our capabilities that we could play with anyone in our region," said Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee. "But shooting 24% from the floor and not playing with the intensity and passion for the entire 32 minutes came back to haunt us. We played well in spurts, but not for the entire 32 minutes. In those games that we were able to do that this year, we proved we can play with most anyone."
Though Rebecca Trump scored an early bucket to put Berkeley Springs on top 2-0, it was Frankfort that went on the early run and established control of the game. Jenn Cessna quickly answered Trump's basket with a three point bomb, followed by a pair of buckets by Brannon Wray, and one each from Lindsay Adams and Randi Bartlett, giving Frankfort a quick nine point lead, 11-2.
Alex Tamez finally ended the Falcon run with a pair of free throws, before teammate Kelsey McCoy made two free throws of her own to cut the Frankfort lead to 11-6. Bartlett scored the final bucket of the quarter to give the Falcons a 13-6 lead after the opening eight minutes of action.
Frankfort built the lead to 23-14 late in the second quarter, before Tamez hit a two point shot and Ashley Hovermale buried one from behind the three point arc, to cut the lead to 25-19 at the break.
After weathering the early Frankfort stampede, Berkeley Springs had to feel good going into the locker room trailing by only six points. They withstood the early onslaught and were well within striking distance.
However, much like the opening minutes of the game, Frankfort opened the second half on a 13-2 run for a 38-21 lead and control of the game.
The Falcons extended the lead to 52-30 midway through the final quarter. The Lady Indians made it interesting when they went on a 12-1 run of their own to cut the deficit to 12 points, 54-42. Tamez started the rally by burying a three point shot. Courtney Kesecker followed with a basket on the inside, Tamez struck again from the outside, before Trump nailed a two point bucket to get the Indians within 12 points of the lead.
However, Frankfort was able to maintain their composure and held on to claim the sectional championship.
"If you can take something positive away from a loss like this, it's that our girls showed a lot of character," McCumbee said. "There were times during the game that they could have given up, but they didn't."
Tamez led Berkeley Springs with 21 points, Trump added six, Hovermale five, Kesecker four, Amber Booher and McCoy three each and Kayla Hill two.
Bartlett and Cessna led Frankfort with 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Berkeley Springs ended the year 11-11.
"I'm certainly not totally satisfied with our performance this year," said McCumbee. "I felt we could have won a few more games. But, if you look closely, many of the losses were to teams ranked in the state. Not that we couldn't have beaten some of those teams, but they were quality opponents. We have good nucleus returning next year and have the opportunity for bigger and better things."