FRONTENAC — Playing on the loser’s side of the bracket in the Kansas Army National Guard Invitational, the Frontenac Raiders dropped another one, this time to the Ft. Scott Tigers, 63-53.
Ashley Scott came alive for the Tigers in the second half, scoring over 20 after the break, and the Raiders could not match her offensive output. Leading at the half, Frontenac only scored three points in the third quarter and could not close the gap in the fourth. Kaylee Harper led Frontenac with her second double-double in as many nights, finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Fort Scott scored first to open their loser’s bracket contest with the host Frontenac Raiders, but the interior strength of Harper quickly turned the early momentum in her squad’s favor. Harper came up with four offensive rebounds in the first quarter and that translated into eight early points for the junior forward.
The Tigers were able to pick apart the Raider zone defense with relative ease in the later part of the first quarter, ripping off a 6-0 run in the process, and took an 18-14 lead into the second quarter.
Back-to-back threes by Emily Merando and Kennedi Fields in the first minute of the second, and they would stretch their lead out to 24-20 with four minutes to go in the half. Coach Jeremey Rakes switched his defense into a trap zone and this was frustrating the Ft. Scott players. Heading into the locker rooms, the Raiders led 31-28.
In the second half, Fort Scott’s top scorer, Ashley Scott, came alive in a big way. Hitting long-range threes, inside shots, and knocking down her free throws, Scott seemingly scored for everywhere. While she and the rest of the Tigers got going offensively, Frontenac could not buy a bucket in the third quarter, only scoring once from the field in the entire quarter. A small lead at the half had turned into a small deficit heading into the final quarter, as Fort Scott led 37-34 after three.
The fourth quarter found the Raiders in need of fouling with just over three minutes to go in the contest in order to lengthen the game and hope the Tigers would miss their free throws. The problem was Scott ended up with the ball every time Frontenac fouled, and she did not miss from the line. There was simply nothing the Raiders could do to climb back into the game.
Fields hit three 3-pointers in the game and ended with 12 points.
Merando had six points and six assists. Gwen Smalley scored three points but also added 12 rebounds.
Raider boys pull away for tournament win
In a contest in which the largest lead by either team was six points, the Frontenac Raiders took the victory over the Southwest Washburn Trojans, 58-55, in the Kansas Army National Guard Invitational Friday evening.
The Raiders won with timely steals and made just enough free throws late to seal the deal. The Raiders had 11 players score in the game, paced by Ryan Long’s team-high 12 points.
With the score tied with six minutes to go, Frontenac started to slowly pull away, thanks in large part to their defensive pressure.
Long and Terry Young each had multiple steals in the fourth quarter and both either converted the layup or knocked down their free throws.
With 90 seconds to go, the Raiders led 56-52, but SW Washburn would not go away easily. However. they could not catch Frontenac in the end.
Broc Ginavan and Young each scored seven points, while Ryan Menghini added eight points. Riley Swigart had six points on the night.
Frontenac came out in their contest with the SW Washburn Trojans playing tight defense and looking to work the ball inside on offense. Ginavan got the Raiders off to a strong start by working the offensive boards and scoring two second-chance baskets early in the first quarter.
SW Washburn capitalized on a few Frontenac turnovers to go on an 8-0 run to take a 10-4 lead with just over three minutes to go in the quarter.
A 3-pointer by Christian Owens and a block by Carlos Herrera swung the momentum back to the Raiders and they were able to cut into the lead heading into the second quarter, only down 15-13.
A theme of the night for Frontenac was the ability for the perimeter defensive players to come up with timely steals which led directly to points.
Young displayed this ability early in the second with a strip that led to him making free throws to tie the game.
Swigart gave the Raiders their first lead, 17-16, with just over six minutes to go in the half, and a Long scoop and score extended the Raider lead.
The Raiders found their rhythm offensively midway through the second quarter, and besides the occasional unforced turnover, stayed in that rhythm the rest of the contest. They scored from behind the arc and from in close, effectively running their offense. Frontenac would take a 27-22 lead with just over three minutes in the quarter.
The Trojans of SW Washburn would close the half on a 13-6 run, hitting a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to go into the locker room up 35-33.
Ginavan tied the contest on the first Raider possession of the second half, and Herrera came up with another huge block to energize Frontenac. The lead would change hand multiple times in the third quarter, neither team able to put together a run together. The Raiders were able to score on second-chance opportunities as they were dominating the offensive boards, particularly Ryan Menghini, who came up with three on one possession. Heading into the fourth quarter, Frontenac held a slim 49-47 lead.