North wins in Frankamp’s return
Northwest’s game plan Tuesday night was smothering senior Conner Frankamp defensively.
Two Grizzlies trapped Frankamp as soon as he caught the ball in the first half. In the second half, there was some trapping, but mainly Northwest had one player right up on Frankamp, usually with a hand somewhere on Frankamp’s body.
The physical defense frustrated Frankamp. By the midpoint of the third quarter, he was showing that frustration, and doing some talking at Northwest guard Aaron Nicholson.
At that point, Frankamp began to look more for his shot. He scored 19-second half points to finish with 29 as North won 64-29.
“He really was working hard out there,” said North coach Gary Squires, whose team is 11-2. “I thought he was frustrated at times because they ran two guys at him and they had their hands all over him.”
Frankamp missed the last two games, both North losses, after he suffered a mild concussion on Jan. 17 and needed 12 stitches to close a 1-inch gash on his left temple.
“It felt good to be back out there,” said Frankamp, who made 8 of 16 shots, 6 of 11 three-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws. “Once I started playing, I got the nerves out.”
Midway through the third period, Frankamp finally got free from Northwest’s defense when he got a steal. He immediately dribbled up the court and hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. Later in the period, he also hit three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt, then made two more threes.
North made 11 of 19 three-pointers, getting two each from Zach Beard and Tristyn Villa.
“Obviously we were trying to keep the ball out of Conner’s hands for the simple fact it gave us the best opportunity to win the game,” Northwest coach Chris Collins said.
Early on, it worked, and North’s offense came from Tarius Williams, Sean Bernard and Beau Shockley.
The Grizzlies matched North’s offense, too, getting baskets from three players through the first half of the period and taking an 8-6 lead on Tyler Brown’s free throws with 4:01 to go in the first.
“They kept to the game plan,” Collins said. “But then we made some mistakes ourselves, and we started to get sped up offensively and defensively.”
North went on a 17-0 run over a nearly six-minute span for a 23-8 lead with two minutes gone in the second period.
Frankamp didn’t score until 1:38 to go in the first period when he hit a three-pointer, but his first points came on Northwest’s third straight turnover.
“I thought our defense did a really good job tonight,” Squires said. “Ball pressure, help side. And in the second half, we limited them to one shot.”
Three Northwest players — Johnston, Cortez Carr and Tyler Brown — each scored six points. Johnston had 10 rebounds and a blocked shot.
Williams finished with 10 points for North, while Beard had eight.
NORTHWEST: Lolar 1 0-0 2, Johnston 3 0-0 6, Carr 3 0-0 6, Brown 2 2-2 6, Carson 1 0-0 2, Darr 1 0-0 2, Nicholson 1 0-0 3, Cobb 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 (1) 2-2 29.
NORTH: Frankamp 8 7-8 29, Bernard 2 0-0 4, Shockley 1 0-0 2, Williams 5 0-0 10, Beard 3 0-0 8, Bogle 1 0-0 3, Villa 2 0-0 6, Mathiasen 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 (11) 7-8 64.