The Frontenac Raiders are experiencing a youth movement on the basketball court this season as sophomores and freshman will play central roles and minutes for the girls team.



Matt Holtzman, in his first year coaching girls basketball at Frontenac High School, said that people can be deceived by hearing sophomore and thinking inexperienced.

The Frontenac Raiders are experiencing a youth movement on the basketball court this season as sophomores and freshman will play central roles and minutes for the girls team.

Matt Holtzman, in his first year coaching girls basketball at Frontenac High School, said that people can be deceived by hearing sophomore and thinking inexperienced.

“The label of a sophomore says you’re somewhat young,” Holtzman said. “It doesn’t explain how hard they work, how competitive they are and the hours they put in.”

Recent Frontenac girls basketball teams have depended on at least one or two dominant players with three and four years varsity experience.

Hannah Ketterman poured in 20.1 points per game two years ago, after averaging 15.9 points her junior year and 11.9 points her sophomore year.

Emily Barto, a four-year varsity basketball player and three-sport star, inherited Ketterman’s spotlight last year and gave Frontenac scoring (19.4 ppg), rebounding (9.1 rpg), assists (2.4 apg), steals (3.0 spg) and blocks (1.1 bpg).

Frontenac returns four juniors and eight sophomores from a team which ended its season 17-7 (6-2 CNC) last season with a 57-39 loss to Jefferson County North in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament.

Guards Libby Warrick and Meghan Winden and forwards Lindsey Gorham and Taylor Seward are key returning players for a rookie high school head coach. Warrick and Gorham played significant minutes and served as part-time starters last season as freshmen. Winden and Seward are junior players with varsity experience.

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

Warrick scored 4.7 points per game, with 15 points against Erie her game high, and made 21 of 73 3-point shots. Winden averaged 5.4 points per game. Gorham averaged 3.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game; she passed 10 rebounds in a game six times, including 12 against Cherryvale in the substate semifinals and 14 against Caney Valley in the substate finals. Seward averaged 4.8 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Holtzman expects inconsistent play from the girls because it’s the nature of playing competitive basketball at whatever level.

“You’re going to see high and lows from any high school player,” Holtzman said. “You see high and lows from professional athletes, let alone girls who are 15, 16, 17 years old.”

Holtzman sees potential greatness when he observes his players in action.

“They have the potential to be great right now,” Holtzman said. “They’ll only get better if they continue their hard work. They could be a great team.”

The Raiders have a hoops core that has experienced success in volleyball and softball, this year without Barto in volleyball and alongside Barto last season in softball.

Frontenac volleyball did not have a senior on its 24-player roster. The Raiders finished their season with a 20-14 (4-3 CNC) record, winning seven of their last 10 matches before ending their season in the Class 3A substate at Northeast High School against Riverton.

Junior veterans Seward and Danielle McBride led the Raiders in important statistical categories: Seward paced Frontenac with 204 kills and 113 blocks and McBride dug out 467 shots.

Setter Gorham made All-CNC first-team in her sophomore year, with 623 assists and 320 digs standing out among her statistics; she had 537 assists her freshman year, giving her 1,160 assists over two seasons.
Ryleigh McCartney made All-CNC honorable mention her freshman season, with 116 kills, 86 blocks, 364 digs and a team-leading 46 aces; Holtzman expects McCartney to be a varsity basketball contributor.

Gorham, McBride, Warrick and Winden all contributed to a 15-8 (10-6 CNC) softball team last season.

Gorham drove in a team-high 25 runs and hit .459. She went 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA on the mound, as Barto (12-7, 1.78 ERA) dominated starts. Winden hit .347 with 12 RBI, McBride .246 with 11 RBI and Warrick .232 with 10 RBI.