Pawing Their Way to the Top

Fifteen local teams grace the latest associated press basketball poll, but only one team owns a top ranking.

Frankfort girls basketball is 15-1 with just four games left in the regular season, proving that the lady Panthers are right on track to the Breslin Center.

“We have one goal and that’s to win a State Championship, so that’s always on our mind,” said Frankfort junior Mackenna Kelly.

In 2005 and 2006, the Panthers took home back-to-back titles, a drought that will hopefully end this season.

“When we were able to win the State Championships the first time, that really kind of got the ball rolling,” Tim Reznich, Frankfort‘s Girls Basketball Head Coach explained. “Those girls were able to witness those other girls having great success and they saw the hard work that they put in . . so those girls would work even harder as youngsters.”

Dedication that has paid off the last three weeks, with Frankfort ranked first in Class D, a top seat players say isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

“There’s a target on our back, teams are giving us their all and we’ve had some pretty close games lately but we’ve been able to pull through,” Frankfort senior Shayla Soto said.

You know, it means a lot to be a number one ranked team, so you just want to live up to the expectations of being number one,” Kelly added.

Right now Frankfort is ranked ahead of Sacred Heart, a team that graduated only one player from its Class D State Championship squad. The Panthers are also in front of St. Ignace, a Saints group, that has made it to the Breslin Center the last five seasons.

“You know, two incredible programs and we know we’d have to prove ourselves,” said Reznich.

“They were good in previous years for a reason, so they still got it in them,” Kelly explained.

If both Frankfort and Sacred Heart are able to continue recent success, the Irish and Panthers could meet once again in the Quarterfinals. A stage that would give Frankfort an opportunity to redeem its loss in the same round last postseason.