North's Conner Frankamp goes for 52 points in double-OT loss to Northwest
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Northwest boys basketball coach Chris Collins heard the rumors.
His shot is even silkier now. His ballhandling has improved. He has actually gotten better from last season.
But until you see it with your own eyes, it's hard to believe the hype surrounding North sophomore Conner Frankamp. Then he turns you into a believer.
"I heard that over the summer and I was like, 'What's all the fuss about?' " Collins said. "Now I know what the fuss is about."
Frankamp's ability was on full display Tuesday night against Northwest, as he scored 52 points, a Wichita City League record, on 18-of-38 shooting that included eight three-pointers. But it was the Grizzlies who won the game, an 87-81 double- overtime thriller.
Frankamp broke the 33-year-old record of 47 points by South's Ricky Ross.
Frankamp took over the game down the stretch and nearly single-handedly defeated a quality Northwest team (2-0, 2-0).
"That is the type of kid that can steal one by himself," Collins said. "He has that type of ability as I heard, but now I know."
The pregame warmups foreshadowed Frankamp's shooting night. He barely missed.
"I kind of had a feeling it was going to be a good night," Frankamp said.
Northwest kept a fresh defender on Frankamp the entire game. Each one had the task of shutting him down; each one came away shaking his head.
"A lot of them you're like, 'I was right there, I thought I was in position,' and he just knocks them down," Northwest's Grant Landenberger said.
When the Grizzlies threatened to run away with the game, leading 54-45 after three quarters, Frankamp was at his best.
He started the quarter with a driving layup displaying impeccable body control in the air. He got to the line and made both free throws. A no-look pass for an easy basket for his teammate. A crucial layup to give North a 66-63 lead with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Northwest's June Johnson (21 points) drained a three-pointer to force a tie, but Frankamp had left his mark on the fourth quarter: 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
"It's a team game, but once we saw him get into that zone, we just let him go to work," North coach Gary Squires said. "We spread the floor and let him go. He's a type of scorer that can change the game around and he did."
In the first overtime, Frankamp scored North's first five points but missed a driving layup that would have won the game.
Northwest took a 84-81 lead in double overtime on an offensive rebound from Kendrick Miller (17 points, 12 rebounds). The next trip down, Frankamp came up short on a three-pointer.
"It looked good for a second, I thought it was going in," said Frankamp, who played 40 minutes. "But I was a little tired there at the end, so I got to work on my endurance."
Frankamp's 52 also broke North's school record of 41 by Larry Neal in 1968.
"He's past up a lot of great scorers in the City League from way back," Squires said. "As a coach, I'm just enjoying every moment of watching him play."
After Frankamp scorched the nets against Heights last week, it begs the question of if he should be double-teamed throughout the game.
North's next highest scorer was Jacob Urban with nine points.
"At this point," Collins said, "I think you got to."
Frankamp appreciated the congratulations and the compliments following his scoring performance. He just wishes it was for getting a win for North (0-2, 0-2).
"It means a lot to me, but not as much as getting a 'W,' " Frankamp said.
North (0-2, 0-2) 14 17 14 21 7 8 81 Northwest (2-0, 2-0) 23 14 17 12 7 11 87
NORTH: Frankamp 18 8-8 52, Williams 2 0-0 4, Urban 3 3-4 9, Kinder 2 0-0 4, Bridges 1 1-2 3, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Howard 2 1-2 5, Price 1 2-4 4. Totals 29 (8) 15-20 81.
NORTHWEST: Nicholson 4 12-18 21, Johnson 8 1-2 21, Landenberger 3 0-1 7, Miller 7 3-4 17, Gales 5 1-4 11, Carter 2 0-0 6, Kramer 2 0-0 4, Fizer 0 0-0 0. Totals 31 (8) 17-30 87.