Entering the 2010-11 season, everybody knew the Frontenac High School girls basketball team had a roster on the younger side with no seniors, four juniors, eight sophomores and a talented freshman class.

Entering the 2010-11 season, everybody knew the Frontenac High School girls basketball team had a roster on the younger side with no seniors, four juniors, eight sophomores and a talented freshman class.

In three of the five games this season, freshmen have led Frontenac in scoring: Ryleigh McCartney netted 16 points in her high school debut against St. Paul and Bailey Flora scored eight against Liberal and 14 against Jayhawk-Linn.

McCartney and Flora, along with Natalie Coomes, are part of the freshman class that went 27-0 in two junior high seasons under coach Matt Holtzman, who has guided Frontenac High to a 4-1 record during his first season coaching the girls basketball team.

“Several girls have stepped up and built leadership roles,” Holtzman said. “We don’t have any one dominant girl.”

The Raiders already have three impressive wins against more experienced basketball teams: St. Paul, Neodesha and Jayhawk-Linn. The Neodesha and Jayhawk-Linn victories came on the road; Frontenac has won both of its road games, an impressive feat for any team, and so far the Raiders have won close games and road games.

McCartney led all scorers in the 43-37 victory over St. Paul, with her 16 points two more than St. Paul senior and Pitt State signee Morgan Westhoff, and Meghan Winden scored eight points. Lindsey Gorham paced Frontenac with 14 rebounds and five steals (tied with Taylor Seward).

44-36 W vs. College Heights:
Seward led the Raiders with 14 points, as she made four field goals and 6 of 9 free throws, and McCartney scored 10 (she reached double figures in her first two high school games). Gorham and McCartney tied for the team lead in rebounding with seven.

“We try and make it as simple as possible for us,” Holtzman said. “Set the tempo. We did a great job in our first game against St. Paul and I felt like we let up at times tonight, especially defensively. That’s our foundation. Our defense.”

40-39 W at Neodesha:
The Raiders improved to 3-0 on the season with their first road victory of the season; juniors Winden and Seward emerged as leading scorers, combining for 34 (Winden 20, Seward 14) of Frontenac’s 40 points. Neodesha held McCartney scoreless for the first time in her brief high school career.

“Neodesha has a tough ballclub with some older girls,” Holtzman said. “I told our girls, ‘We have to come in here with confidence and not be intimidated.”

Frontenac shot 16 of 31 at the free throw line and Neodesha only scored 10 points on free throw shooting. Winden scored nine of her points shooting free throws; she ended 9 of 13 at the foul line.

48-33 L vs. Liberal (Mo.):
Coaches often talk about establishing tone and how important it is to the ebb and flow of a basketball game.

Liberal (Mo.) came into Frontenac High School and dominated the Raiders from the first basket to the final buzzer.

“They came in and set the tone,” Holtzman said. “I told our girls, ‘We have to come out and set the tone.’ That’s exactly what they did.”

Frontenac had little answer on defense for Liberal’s Kori Dodson, Kendall Kirby and Hanna Beckwith, all of whom scored in double figures.

“We’ve got to be fundamentally sound,” Holtzman said. “We did not do what it takes to win a basketball game.”

Flora and McCartney scored eight and seven points, respectively, to lead a Frontenac team with seven players scoring two points apiece. The Raiders shot 11 of 41 (27 percent) from the floor.

48-43 W at Jayhawk-Linn:
The Raiders rebounded from their first loss of the season and won a second tough road game against a Jayhawk-Linn team with state tournament experience.

Frontenac took a 15-4 lead after the first quarter and this 11-point lead helped Frontenac withstand a second-half charge by the Jayhawks. McCartney and Gorham scored four, Flora three, Winden two and Seward two points during the first and Jayhawk-Linn committed 11 turnovers.

Flora ended with a career-high 14 points and McCartney added nine points.

On the season, McCartney leads Frontenac in scoring with 8.4 points per game and she averages 4.6 rebounds. Gorham leads in rebounding at 6.4 rebounds per game. Winden ranks second in scoring (8.0 ppg) and her 12 steals (2.4 spg) pace Frontenac.