FRANKFORT - The Frankfort Panthers saw their incredible postseason run come to an end with a 54-37 loss against the defending Div. 4 State Champions, Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian, in the state semifinals Thursday night.
Tri-Unity Christian led 16-8 after the first quarter and pushed the lead to 21-8 early in the second. Led by sophomore Carter Kerby, Frankfort went on a 10-0 run in the middle of the second quarter to tighten the gap. The Panthers found themselves trailing 25-21 at the half but the Defenders pulled away in the second half to advance to the state championship game for a third straight season.
Kerby led the way for Frankfort with 21 points. Owen Rosendall paced a balanced Tri-Unity Christian scoring attack with 13 points.
One of the biggest differences in the game was on the glass as Tri-Unity Christian out-rebounded Frankfort 41-22.
It’s a disappointing end to a remarkable run from the Panthers, who surprised many people by making a run all the way to the Breslin Center after finishing just 13-8 in the regular season.
“We proved a lot of people wrong and I think we made a statement that Frankfort basketball is a really strong program,” said senior Nick Stevenson. “We came a long way. We were a completely different team than we were in the first half of the season. I think we flipped a switch and we came together.
Stevenson is one of six seniors the Panthers will lose next season, along with Quentin McKenzie, Logan Lewis, Rocco Anhalt, Kade Rossum and Xander Sauer.
“I’m thankful for my seniors and I know I’ve got a good young group coming up,” said head coach Dan Loney. “Carter [Kerby] is only a sophomore and you guys saw what he did out there tonight. He’s hungry, he wants to come back as well as all those other younger kids on our roster. They got a taste of it and hopefully that makes them work harder and we can get back here.”