Southwood's Carson Blair gets a shot off over a Frankton defender during Saturday's Lapel Regional. Photo by David Fenker
By Eric Christiansen
LAPEL -- The ball didn't bounce Southwood's way Saturday afternoon against Frankton at the Lapel Regional.
Despite the heartbreaking 65-61 loss, Southwood coach John Burrus saw the positives after the game.
"It's been a season of championships for us," Burrus said. "We had a great season winning the county and conference championships and won the sectional title. We are certainly not losers."
In a game that saw 18 lead changes in the first three quarters, Frankton used a 6-0 run late in the third to turn a 41-38 deficit into a 44-41 lead, a lead they would never give up.
But the Knights didn't roll over, tying it up at 48-48 early in the fourth quarter, then making it a one-point game with 2:33 left.
"Cutting a six-point lead down to one point showed the character of this team," Burrus said. "You have to give Frankton credit, but it was a great effort by our kids against a quality team."
Frankton took a 6-2 lead in the first two minutes, but the Knights chipped away at the lead with Carson Blair scoring Southwood's first 11 points for an 11-10 lead.
Southwood took a 17-13 lead with two baskets from Dallas Holmes and one from Blair, and the Knights led 18-17 after one quarter.
A back-and-forth second quarter had six lead changes, with the Knights going ahead 30-28 after a steal and basket from Peyton Trexler.
The third quarter was no different with five lead changes, but it was a 6-0 run late that gave Frankton a 44-41 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Trexler scored on a fast break, and Blair hit a 3-pointer to tie things up at 48-48 with 6:58 remaining in the game.
But the Eagles went on an 8-2 run to lead 56-50 with 4:44 left.
With the lead still at six points, Jeffrey Finicle scored, followed by a 3-pointer from Matt Nose to make it 59-58.
Despite Frankton missing four free throws in the final two minutes, Southwood wasn't able to take advantage, falling 65-61 and ending a 21-5 season.
"We haven't played a better team than Frankton this year," Burrus said. "It's hard to be too upset after game like this."
Blair led Southwood with 25 points, followed by Trexler with 12, Holmes with 10, Nose with six, Blake Martz with five, and Finicle with two.
Southwood loses three seniors in Paul Farlow, Martz and Finicle.
"All three of our seniors contributed in different ways, and all had different roles on our team," Burrus said. "I'm proud of all of them."