East Hardy Left In Fog By Falcons

The Falcons swooped into the Den and left East Hardy in a dense fog, dazed and confused after pouring down 11 3-pointers en route to an 87-60 victory in Baker on Friday.

Leading the barrage was Frankfort’s Zack Whitacre with five 3-pointers for a game-high 21 points, followed by Drew Mauzy with 15 points, Parker Riley with 14 points and three treys, Austin Vance netted 12 points Blake Wasson added ten points including a pair of trifectas.

“They started making shots, hitting 3-pointers two or three feet behind the line. Earlier they weren’t going in, but clearly they were pretty confident with it because they kept shooting and finally they started falling,” East Hardy Coach Chris Hahn commented.

“When they saw a couple go through, they got really hot from the outside. That makes you really extend and when you’re playing against a team with all that length giving up four inches at every possession and their shortest player goes out there and hits five 3-pointers. It makes it hard. We aren’t built to go all the way out and defend teams like that, we play more safe. Brett Tharp’s forte is using his power against everybody, but they had size and forced him to kick outside. Our catch and shoot went in and came right out, so it was just a tale of missed shots. We like to get up and go and push the tempo, so the score didn’t bother me. We just didn’t finish.”

The Cougars (4-4) struggled from the field hitting only 40 percent, but managed to have three players score in double figures with Jesse Dove scoring a team-high 14 points with two 3-pointers, followed by Brett Tharp with 13 points and one trey, plus Drew Kelican pitching in 11 points with two 3-pointers.
There were a dozen combined missed shots and four turnovers without a point scored by either team for nearly three minutes entering the contest before Frankfort (6-1) found the net on a 3-pointer made by Zack Whitacre at the 5:16 mark.

East Hardy graced the scoreboard on the ensuing possession as Drew Kelican hit one of two free throws at 4:59.

This was a vast difference after the Cougars came off a 106-point scoring performance earlier in the week.

East Hardy’s Casey Connelley grabbed a defensive rebound and passed to Brett Tharp, who went in for a layup to tie the game.

Tharp stole the ball after a timeout and passed to Aden Funkhouser, who was fouled going down the baseline.

Jesse Dove assisted Kelican on a 3-pointer giving East Hardy a 6-3 lead at 3:56, but that edge lasted for only 16 seconds as the Falcons answered with a perimeter shot by Blake Wasson.

Tharp scored in the paint nine seconds later to regain the lead.

Drew Mauzy snatched an offensive rebound and was fouled, then Whitacre drained a 3-pointer.

Connelley assisted Dove on a 3-pointer at the 2:50 mark as the Cougars went back up 11-9.

East Hardy’s Adam Baker collected a defensive rebound, but the ensuing pass went out of bounds.
Baker made another rebound, but the Cougars failed to score and Mauzy grabbed the rebound with Tharp reaching in trying to pry the ball away and Tharp was whistled for a foul.

Tharp prevented a Falcons player from moving up the court by standing right in front of him leaning in and was called for another foul.
Frankfort’s Caleb Hare knocked down a trifecta to change the lead at 1:35, 12-11.

Both teams missed baskets before Cole Swanson scored inside the paint off an assist from Adam Larson to put East Hardy up again 13-12.

Funkhouser made a defensive rebound and passed to Swanson, who was fouled and missed the free throws.
Frankfort’s Austin Vance hauled in an offensive board and passed to Whitacre for a 3-pointer with three seconds left in the first period to give the Falcons a 15-13 edge.

East Hardy opened the second period with Kelican driving down the baseline for a layup as the Falcons neglected to place their talons along that route.
Tharp made a defensive rebound, but Whitacre swiped the ball and passed to Parker Riley for a bucket to regain the lead, 17-15 at the 6:50 mark.

“Our intensity has been good all season, but we have been off for two weeks so we had to get it going,” Frankfort Coach Scott Slider remarked.

“We didn’t get it started, until midway through the second quarter. In the second half we we really stepped it up. That was one of the biggest things for us. We find open looks all the time. We know we can get the looks whether inside or outside, it’s just a matter of finding it and getting it in the hole. We have pretty good 3-point shooters.”

As Whitacre went for a block, Vance was called for a foul and Dove netted both free throws to knot the game again.
Both teams misses shots before Riley nailed a 3-pointer to put Frankfort up 20-17 at the 6:02 mark for good as the Falcons wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.

Mauzy sandwiched two field goals around a jumper by Connelley for a 24-19 edge.
Kelican scored on the next series and drew a foul, but missed the shot and Tharp tipped it back to him only to have the Cougars hit the rim again and Mauzy took the next carom.

Tharp collided with Mauzy for a foul at mid-court and the Falcons scored on the next play as Whitacre dropped a perimeter basket to spark 9-0 run to build a 31-23 advantage with 4:01 left in the first half.
Jansen Knotts collided with Tharp, who made both free throws for the Cougars.
Hare broke the press and scored a layup for the Falcons.
A minute later, Tharp drove to the basket and sent an off-balanced shot up as Wasson had stepped forward nudging his foot for a blocking foul and Tharp hit the free throws again.

Larson pulled the Cougars to within seven points in the last minute and change, but Frankfort responded with two baskets by Whitacre to close the first half with the last one coming off a block and steal by Wasson in the closing seconds for a 41-30 advantage at intermission.

Mauzy opened the third period with a jumper, but East Hardy answered with a 3-pointer by Kelican.
Tharp blocked a shot, then the Cougars were whistled for a walk.
Funkhouser grabbed a rebound and passed to Dove, who scored a mid-range jumper.

A handful of missed opportunities broke Mauzy netted a putback, then Wasson stole the ball and missed with the ball landing out of bounds.
Dove drilled a 3-pointer on the next possession to make it a 45-38 contest with 4:55 left in the third period, but 12 seconds later Wasson knocked down a 3-pointer.

Knotts scored a basket and grabbed a defensive rebound leading to a 3-pointer by Riley for a 53-38 lead.
The Cougars cut into the deficit with a jumper by Tharp, then a timeout was called.

Swanson blocked a shot, then Kelican missed a shot and Vance made the rebound.
Hare made a putback and stole the ball leading to two missed free trows by Knotts, but the ball deflected off the Cougars and Knotts hit a jumper, 57-40.
Vance knocked the ball loose and made a baseline save, but Andrew Tharp stole the ball and was fouled.

Larson scored off a rebound from the missed free throws, then Frankfort answered with a 3-pointer from Riley.
Dove made two free throws on the next possession for a 60-44 score with 2:06 left in the third period.

The Falcons closed the quarter with three more field goals, while East Hardy missed several shots.

Brett Tharp drilled a trifecta to begin the final stanza and made a defensive rebound, but the Cougars didn’t score on the ensuing possession.
Wasson snatched the rebound and Baker blocked the next Falcons attempt, but Whitacre hit a 3-pointer moments later for a 69-47 lead.

Funkhouser and Wasson each made baskets in the paint.
East Hardy battled for rebounds on the next series with Kelican, Baker and Brett Tharp making rebounds, but couldn’t connect and Mauzy went for a steal as Knotts jarred the ball loose.
Tharp tackled Mauzy and was assessed a technical foul and both free throws were made.

Whitacre was whistled for a walk, then Tharp shifted in the paint to go up for a basket and was called for a walk to which he yelled ‘oh, come on’.
A technical foul was given on Tharp which was his second which meant ejection from the game with 5:18 remaining.
Riley made both free throws as Frankfort went up 75-49.

The Cougars lost the ball out of bounds after a rebound by Chance Dove, then Vance scored and blocked a shot.
Dove stole the ball and made a putback for East Hardy with 4:09 to go, 77-51.
Frankfort scored the next eight points, then Funkhouser made a layup for the Cougars.

After a Falcons jumper, East Hardy’s Seth Smith connected on a 3-pointer for an 87-56 score with 1:36 left.
In the final minute of action, Funkhouser and Swanson netted baskets for the Cougars for the final score of 87-60.
The Cougars were moving with the tempo of the game, but the momentum belonged to Frankfort.

In JV action, Frankfort edged the Cougars 50-45.
Seth Smith led East Hardy with 13 points, while J.J. Blank guided the Falcons with 14 points.
East Hardy visits Pendleton County on Tuesday.