The Frontenac Lady Raiders opened with a 9-0 run against the Hogan Prep Rams in the seventh-place matchup in the Kansas Army National Guard Invitational Saturday afternoon and did not look back on their way to a comfortable 70-18 victory.
The Raiders were able to take some of their frustrations from the two close tournament losses out on the overwhelmed Rams.
Lauren Hipfl led Frontenac with 23 points, as three Raider players reached double digits in the first half.
The first minute of the first quarter set the tone for the Raiders in their matchup with Hogan Prep.
Kennedi Fields found Emily Merando for a three. Then Fields stole the inbounds and fed Merando for the easy layup, and just like that Frontenac was up 5-0. The Raider defense harassed the Rams into turnovers on their first six possessions; Hogan Prep would not even attempt a shot until almost three minutes into the game.
The Raiders asserted their dominance early and kept pouring it on, leading 26-7 after one quarter.
Hogan Prep stayed in a diamond press for almost the entire first half, and it did nothing to slow down Frontenac’s offense.
The Raider players were able to get inside and get good looks at will, and the shots that did not fall were grabbed by Kaylee Harper and put back in. Harper had six offensive rebounds in the first half.
Hipfl was able to get off a half-court shot that found its mark as the halftime buzzer sounded, sending the Raiders into the locker room up 48-13.
Hogan Prep tried to slow the game down by holding the ball on offense, but this did not slow Frontenac. Hipfl came up with three offensive rebounds and put backs halfway through the quarter, as the Raiders extended their already large lead.
The only thing to slow the Frontenac attack was the running clock in the fourth quarter. Every Raider played, and every Raider contributed to the stat sheet.
Frontenac held Hogan Prep to only five second-half points and easily coasted to victory.
Harper fell one rebound shy of her third double-double of the game, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds, all done in the first half. Gwen Smalley added 13 points.
Frontenac boys fall in overtime to Riverton
Terry Young hit a 3-pointer with less than two seconds to go in the fourth quarter to cap a furious rally by Frontenac to force overtime with the Riverton Rams in the fifth-place game of the Kansas Army National Guard Invitational.
In overtime, Riverton scored the first nine points and came away with a 63-53 victory. Colin Coronado hit four threes and finished with 14 points in the losing effort.
Both Frontenac and Riverton came out wanting to push the action. The Rams were able to hit three of their first four 3-pointers in the game to jump out to a 15-8 lead.
A Grant North steal and breakaway into a slam dunk electrified the crowd and forced a Frontenac timeout.
The Raiders were able to settle down and come right back with a run of their own, finishing the first quarter on a 5-1 run to cut the Riverton lead to only three points heading to the second.
Eight Raiders combined to score the first 17 points for Frontenac, but not many were coming inside in a half-court offense. Riverton was doing a great job of shutting down the lane and Frontenac was struggling to knock down their shots. Heading into halftime, the Raiders trailed 25-21.
Carlos Herrera was running the Raider offense effectively early in the third quarter, able to find Broc Ginavan for an easy layup and setting up Ryan Menghini as well. Yet, Frontenac could not take control of the game.
Riverton went on a run with just over three minutes to go in the quarter and stake their largest lead of regulation. The Rams went up 35-29 with 90 seconds to go and hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to extend to a 40-32 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Frontenac went on a 7-2 run to begin the fourth to cut the Riverton lead to three and force a timeout.
Colin Coronado came alive from behind the arc in the quarter, hitting three 3-pointers, and his shooting cut the Riverton lead to just 43-41 with five minutes to go.
Riverton was up 50-44 with 90 seconds to go with a good chance of winning in regulation. Frontenac didn't go down without a fight.
Defensive pressure by the Raider guards translated in to two huge steals in the final minute, and Isaac Bicknel’s hustle saved a possession for the Raiders with just 16 seconds to go. With under five seconds to go, Young found himself at the top of the key with the ball and he heaved a three that banked it with 2.5 seconds on the clock to tie the game at 50-all.
Riverton could not score, and the two teams went to overtime.
The Rams dominated the overtime period. Frontenac could not stop Riverton’s offense, and the Raiders could not get going offensively, turning the ball over on numerous possessions. All Frontenac could muster in overtime was a Coronado 3-pointer.
A host of Raiders scored in the contest, led by Coronado’s 14. Ginavan added seven points, and Herrera, Menghini, and Bicknell each added six points. Young ended with five points, four assists, and three steals.