The Frontenac Raider girls and their fans are flying high now.



First, the Raiders finished their regular season with a 19-1 overall record, not only the best record by any of the 12 Crawford County varsity basketball teams (boys and girls) but the best record of any high school team in the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League, the Southeast Kansas League and the Three Rivers League.

The Frontenac Raider girls and their fans are flying high now.

First, the Raiders finished their regular season with a 19-1 overall record, not only the best record by any of the 12 Crawford County varsity basketball teams (boys and girls) but the best record of any high school team in the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League, the Southeast Kansas League and the Three Rivers League.

Second, the Raiders are ranked No. 6 in Class 3A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association in the latest poll released Monday.

Third, Frontenac ended the 50-game CNC League winning streak of the Girard Trojans with a 67-60 win last Friday at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium.

Finally, the Raiders claimed their first CNC League title since 2003 with a 52-41 win Tuesday night over the Baxter Springs Lions on Senior Night.

It took all 32 minutes, all 11 players, 22 forced turnovers and 16-for-20 free throw shooting, including 7-8 in the fourth, to get Frontenac the win.

“I think it paid off in the first, second, third and fourth quarters,” Frontenac head coach Jeremy Rakes said after being asked if superior team depth paid off in the fourth quarter. “It’s unbelievable having girls on the bench that are going to give you the quality minutes and work ethic. It’s just unbelievable those girls can come out and play like they did off the bench and give us the spark that we need.”

Amanda Cicero made the first two field goals for the Raiders and scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the first half, including eight points during a 13-2 run before halftime to cut the Baxter Springs lead to 27-24. Baxter Springs led by as many as 25-11 before Frontenac made its run.

Jennifer Long and Lindsey Gorham combined for 11 points and several loose ball rebounds after halftime.
Frontenac took its first lead of the game at 28-27 on four consecutive Long free throws early after halftime and exchanged the lead with the Lions until the decisive fourth quarter where Frontenac outscored Baxter Springs 17-5.
Ryleigh McCartney scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth and shot 5-6 on her free throws.

“Yeah, we missed four free throws the whole game and that’s one of the points we stressed,” Rakes said. “We haven’t been shooting free throws as well as of late and I told them as the season goes on, that’s either going to win or lose you a ballgame. We took it a lot more serious in practice after the Girard game. I keep preaching it and it paid off tonight because of it.”

Frontenac seniors Meghan Winden, Taylor Seward and Jessica Fletcher played in a league title clincher during their final regular season home game.

Cicero led Frontenac with 15 points and McCartney added 11. Winden finished with nine and Long added seven.
Tasha Wampler led all scorers with 16 points, 12 in the first half, and Nina Spence added 11 for Baxter Springs. The Lions are now 14-6 overall and finish 4-3 in the CNC, fourth behind Frontenac, Girard and Colgan.

Frontenac boys 65, Baxter Springs 52

Trailing Baxter Springs 28-27 at halftime, Frontenac came out the second half starting gates with the first six points and built a 44-34 lead on the strength of a 9-0 run late in the quarter, taking advantage of foul trouble on Baxter Springs’ best player Austin Karnes and two player control fouls taken by Frontenac junior forward Blake Barto during this run.

“We got the ball inside,” Frontenac head coach Doug Barto said. “We defended better in the second half. The Karnes kid, he’s pretty good inside, he’s strong and got some foul trouble. Like Garret Tackkett, sophomore, took it right at him, got fouled and Nick Zafuta got the ball in, maybe a trip or two later, and got (Karnes’) third foul. When you get saddled with three fouls first half, that’s tough. He did a good job of playing with the fouls and Coach (Kyle) Crotts did a good job of trying to protect him a little bit.”

Frontenac (12-8, 4-3 CNC) was led by Devon Keith with 15 points and senior Keith Lollar with 14. Zafuta added nine and Blake Barto and Brett Macary both had six points.

“All 15 kids got in and at some point or another, they made a contribution,” Coach Barto said. “I was proud of the kids who came in and played and they all worked hard.”

Karnes scored a game-high 19 points for Baxter Springs (3-17, 1-6).

Frontenac girls 52, Baxter Springs 41
BSHS    12  15  9   5  — 41
FHS     6   18 11 17 — 52
BAXTER SPRINGS (41) — Tasha Wampler 7 2-4 16, Nina Spence 2 6-9 11, Ashleigh Grimes 2 1-4 7, Blake Burns 2 0-0 4, Kelsey Karnes 1 0-0 2, Caitlin Roberts 0 1-2 1. Totals: 14 10-19 41.
FRONTENAC (52) — Amanda Cicero 6 2-2 15, Ryleigh McCartney 3 5-6 11, Meghan Winden 3 2-2 9, Jennifer Long 1 5-6 7, Lindsey Gorham 2 0-0 4, Bailey Flora 2 0-0 4, Natalie Coomes 0 1-2 1, Libby Warrick 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 16-20 52.

Frontenac boys 65, Baxter Springs 52
BSHS    15  13   8  16  — 52
FHS    17  10  17 21 — 65
BAXTER SPRINGS (52) — Austin Karnes 19, Zak Himes 10, Colton Krokroskia 9, Nick Abernathy 9, Jono Crockett 3, Derek Barnes 2.
FRONTENAC (65) — Devon Keith 15, Keith Lollar 14, Nick Zafuta 9, Brett Macary 6, Blake Barto 6, Avery Coronado 4, Matt Standlee 3, Caleb Spangler 3, Nathan Herrelson 2, Dylan Clark 2, Garret Tackkett 1.