• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Yellow Jackets lose to Franklin Co. in district tourney

The Woodford County High School boys’ basketball team saw its 2016-17 season come to an end against Frankfort in the first round of the 41st District tournament at the Frankfort Convention Center on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Despite Woodford leading for much of the game, Frankfort came back to get the win 64-60 to end the Yellow Jackets’ season. “I thought we started the game strong, but we never played nor looked comfortable in anything we did the entire game,” said Woodford head coach Ryan Wilson. “I felt like we played the entire game very reactive rather than proactive as we were always trying to counteract what Frankfort was doing rather than being aggressive and doing some of the things we wanted to do. “A lot of our guys were in a position that they had never been in, playing in a district tournament and being heavily relied upon, and I think our nerves got the best of us as demonstrated by the easy missed shot opportunities and our lack of defensive energy. All the credit goes to Frankfort for making the big plays when they needed them.” With the loss, Woodford finishes the season 14-16 overall, 4-10 in the region and 4-3 in the district. Frankfort got on the scoreboard first, but sophomore Corey George scored on a short jump shot to tie it at 2-2. Woodford then took a lead when sophomore Brandon Cromwell dribbled the ball down the court and then, at the last second, passed it to senior Trevor White who put it in to give the Yellow Jackets a 4-2 lead. Senior Keagan Stromberg then hit a short jump shot, which was followed by a basket by senior Alex Cason, which made it 8-2 in Woodford’s favor. Frankfort responded with a two-pointer and a free throw, while Cromwell made two drives to the basket and a free throw to make it 13-5. Next, the Flyers hit two two-pointers and a three- pointer, but junior Nick Smith answered with a three pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter with the Yellow Jackets ahead, 18-12. The second quarter opened with Frankfort hitting two baskets, while senior Malik Richards made an inside drive for a layup and then hit a two-pointer, which made it a 22-16. That was followed by senior Brandon Caudill making a shot from under the basket to give the Jackets a 24-16 lead. Frankfort came back and made a two-pointer and a three-pointer to make it 24-21. The two teams then swapped two free throws each, which was followed by a three-pointer on the baseline by Caudill. Frankfort answered back with a three-pointer, which was followed by a two-pointer to make it a one-point game, 29-28. The half ended with a flurry of baskets, including a buzzer-beater by Frankfort, but Woodford held onto the lead, 36-32. As the third quarter started, White hit one of two free throws, while Frankfort hit a basket and free throw to take its first lead of the game, 39-37. Woodford answered with White hitting for two points and Caudill hitting for three points to give the Yellow Jackets the lead, 42-39. After a Frankfort timeout, the Flyers hit a three-pointer to tie it, 42-42. Richards then hit for two points, but Frankfort matched it to tie it, 44-44. Richards responded once again, this time with a floor-length drive for two, while Frankfort hit a three-pointer, and as the quarter came to a close, the Flyers led, 47-46. The fourth quarter went back and forth at the start, with ties at 50-50 and 56-56. Then Frankfort took a 59-56 lead on a two-pointer and free throw, and while Woodford tried to come back, the Flyers held the lead the rest of the way. Leading Woodford in the game was Richards with 14 points and six rebounds, while Smith finished with 12 points and five rebounds.

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