FRONTENAC — Frontenac basketball earned a split Friday, with the FHS girls falling 57-34 to Columbus before the Raider boys defeated the Titans 71-53 to cap off the evening.
FHS BOYS TOP COLUMBUS
Frontenac used a big second and third quarter offensively to put plenty of distance between themselves and Columbus, leading to the Raiders’ easy 71-53 victory.
Following a methodical first quarter for both teams, Frontenac scored 22 points in the second quarter and 26 points in the third quarter to pull away from the visiting Titans. With the score 60-36 early in the fourth quarter, Isaac Bicknell was able to put away the break-away dunk, igniting a 6-0 run for the Raiders to invoke the running clock. Columbus came alive late in the game from downtown, but it was too little too late.
“I thought we came out and did what we needed to do tonight,” FHS head coach Ryan Varsolona said. “We stayed focused and stayed sharp, and we really came out with a lot of energy in the second half and attacked the paint. We did a lot of things well tonight.”
It was defense that kickstarted the Raiders' offense Tuesday night against the Titans.
Bicknell got a steal at mid-court and went the other way for the layup to get the Raiders out on the right foot.
A layup by Peyton Brown a short while later got the Raiders out to a 6-2 lead.
At the end of the quarter, Jake Wilbert hit an NBA-range 3-pointer to put Frontenac up 12-6 entering the second quarter.
A Wilbert jumper, then free throws on the next possession, kept Frontenac up by six points early in the second quarter, and a layup by Eian Monsour off the assist from Bicknell gave the Raiders their largest lead of the game thus far at 18-10.
A Bicknell free throw, a Broc Ginavan put back off a miss, and a steal and layup by Brown all within five seconds extended Frontenac to a 23-10 lead.
It was a 3-pointer by Columbus which ended an 11-0 run by the Raiders. Shortly after the Titans’ made three, Monsour found the cutting Bicknell for the layup and a 29-13 advantage, a lead that would be 34-19 at halftime.
A pair of hard-earned layups by Luke Loy began the third quarter for Frontenac. On the next possession, Ryan Long buried a 3-pointer. A Monsour steal and layup ended the 9-2 run by the Raiders that saw their lead balloon to 43-21.
Midway through the quarter, Bicknell knocked down a tough jumper to put the Raiders up 50-26, and a short time later, Hayden Pile made consecutive layups, both of inside feeds from Ginavan. Another layup by Luke Loy had Frontenac up 60-36 going to the fourth.
“It’s back-to-back nights for our kids, and we know legs get tired, but I was pleased to see the energy the kids came out with and their ability to finish the game,” Varsolona said. “That is what we are trying to build to late in the season is playing a four-quarter game, and I was really pleased with the way we played in the second half.”
A steal and outlet to Bicknell found him all alone for the breakaway dunk early in the final period, sparking a 6-0 run that saw Monsour score on a runout layup and Brown score on an alley-oop from Monsour, putting the score at 66-36, invoking the running clock.
Bicknell led all scorers with 19 points in the contest.
Wilbert had 13 points, and Pile and Brown had nine and eight points respectively.
Monsour, Ryan Long and Loy all chipped in six points each in the Frontenac victory.
RAIDER GIRLS FALL TO TITANS
Hosting the Titans in CNC League action, the Frontenac Lady Raiders fell by a score of 57-34.
The Raiders built a quick 7-0 lead to begin the game and lead later by a score of 20-16, but the zone, trap defense of the Titans gave Frontenac fits in the second half, as the Raiders managed just 10 points of offense after the break.
Taylor Peterson led Frontenac with seven points, and Alivia Bridwell added six points by knocking down a pair of 3-point shots. Karma Fields and Kamryn Osborn chipped in five points each for the Raiders.
Frontenac came out of the gates focused offensively and it showed on the scoreboard early as Kamryn Osborn knocked down a 3-ball to open the contest. A running floater by Peterson and a Fields' deep jumper had the Raiders up 7-0 early and forced a Columbus timeout.
The Titans went on a 9-2 lead out of the timeout to tie the game. Following a 3-pointer by Abby Schoech, Columbus took their first lead of the contest at 12-11 and would lead 14-13 going into the second period.
Down 16-13 early in the second, Madi Davis hit a floater to get the Raiders to within one. A Bridwell corner 3-pointer gave Frontenac the lead back at 18-16, and a strong take by Fields resulted in points for the Raiders, good for a 7-0 run, forcing another Titans timeout.
An 8-2 run put Columbus back on top 24-22 late in the period, and they extended that lead to 29-24 at the break.
The second half was all Titans, as they limited the Raiders to just 10 second-half points by using a half-court zone, trap defense that befuddled Frontenac.
The Titans began the third quarter with an 8-2 run to go up 37-26, and they had a 5-0 run to close out the quarter and take a 42-28 lead into the final period.
The Titans slowly pulled away even further in the fourth quarter, as Frontenac struggled shooting from the floor, to win by the final score of 57-34.
MLEKUS HONORED BY SHRINERS AT HALFTIME
During halftime of the varsity girl’s contest, senior quarterback/safety Brandon Mlekus was honored by the Mirza Temple Shriners for being selected to play in the annual Kanas Shrine Bowl this June, being held in El Dorado this year.
It is the second year in a row a Raider player has been so honored, as Mlekus joins Ryan Menghini from last season.
“It’s incredible to be selected as one of the top players in the state and to get the opportunity to play with some of the best players from all over the state,” Mlekus said. “It is pretty cool to make it from a smaller school and community because you do not have as much attention as some of the larger areas in the state, so I had to get someone’s attention to get honored.”