• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS boys’ basketball dominates Frankfort in win

CHANDLER STEWART put on a dominating performance in Woodford County High School boys’ basketball team’s 77-56 win at Frankfort on Saturday, Jan. 30. The sophomore scored 32 points and pulled down five rebounds to help the Yellow Jackets lock up first place in the 41st District. (Photo by Steve Blake/multiexposures.com)

Behind sophomore Chandler Stewart’s 32-point performance, the Woodford County High School boys’ basketball team put on a dominating performance on the road against Frankfort on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 30, defeating their district rival 77-56 to lock up the No. 1 seed in the upcoming 41st District Tournament. “The team was clicking on all cylinders as they jumped on Frankfort 18-3 in the first quarter and never looked back from there,” said Woodford head coach Scott Hundley. “The Jackets were led by (sophomore) Chandler Stewart’s 32 points and (junior) Keagan Stromberg’s 16, while steadied by a whole cast of Yellow Jackets who contributed to the victory. As Hundley mentioned, while Stewart led the way for Woodford in the win over the Panthers, other players also stepped up to help contribute to the victory, including Stromberg, who had 16 points, seniors Tucker Sly, who had seven points and six rebounds, and Wesley Smith, who had six points and 10 rebounds. In addition, Alex Cason, a junior who has been steadily improving with each game he plays, had six points and four rebounds. “As we have made some changes to the line-up, I have been very pleased with the roles all of our players have assumed,” said Hundley. “It’s the selflessness our team shows and the support of teammates that make days like (Saturday) a success. I’m proud of how our team is coming together and while there are some tough games ahead of us, I’m really excited for the opportunity to prove ourselves on the big stage.” Woodford opened the game playing at a very high tempo and quickly took a 6-0, but Frankfort, who was playing without Anthony Robinson, one of their key players, came back and hit a three-pointer to make it 6-3. That’s when Stewart got going, hitting a three-pointer, a two-pointer, and then finished with a baseline drive for two more points to give the Yellow Jackets a 10-3 lead. Woodford then scored eight more points against a seemingly stunned Frankfort team, and at the end of the first quarter, the Jackets held an 18-3 lead. In the second quarter, while Frankfort did score two points, Woodford continued to pour it on. At the start, Sly drove the baseline for two points, Stromberg hit for two more points on an inbounds pass and Smith scored two more on a put back to make it 24-5. That scoring pattern continued for most of the quarter, as Frankfort would score one basket, and Woodford would counter with multiple baskets, as Stromberg hit from inside the lane, Smith got put backs, and Sly hit some jumpers. Add in Stewart, who was hitting from all over the floor – three-point range, short jumpers and drives for layups – and Frankfort did not have a chance on this day. “Chandler has had really good games versus Frankfort this year, scoring 27 in the first meeting and 32 in the second,” said Hundley, “Chandler has established his driving ability and mid-range jumper. He is just now starting to develop his three-point shot, making his game near complete. His toolbox of skills when it comes to scoring is starting to become very dangerous because he can drive you, pull up, or beat you from distance. It’s hard to know how to guard him when he is so aggressive. He had it all working Saturday versus Frankfort and it was a lot of fun to watch and coach.” As Woodford continued to score in the second quarter, Frankfort tried hard to respond, but they just could not seem to keep up and at the end of the half, Woodford led 39-23. In the second half, the Yellow Jackets continued their strong play, while Frankfort tried their best to try and catch up, but Woodford was too strong and, in the end, took home the 77-56 victory. With the win, Woodford locks up the No. 1 seed for the 41st District Tournament, which will be held at the Frankfort Civic Center, Tuesday toFriday, Feb. 23 to 26. In the meantime, the Yellow Jackets still have six regular season games against some top teams to complete the regular season before post-season begins.

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